A Cretaceous Neo-Tethyan carbonate margin in Argolis, southern Greece

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The Argolis Peninsula, southern Greece, is believed to form part of a Pelagonian microcontinent located between two oceanic basins, the Pindos to the west and the Vardar to the east, in Triassic to Tertiary time. In eastern Argolis, two important units are exposed: (i) the Ermioni Limestones cropping out in the southwest; (ii) the Poros Formation, observed on an offshore island in the northeast, and on the adjacent mainland. Both these units comprise late Cretaceous (Aptian-Maastrichtian) pelagic limestones, calciturbidites, lenticular matrix- and clast-supported limestone conglomerates and slump sheets. However, the Poros Formation is distinguished from the Ermioni Limestones by the presence of bituminous micritic limestones and an increasing proportion of shale up sequence. These successions are deep-water slope carbonates that once formed the southeast-facing passive margin of the Pelagonian platform (Akros Limestone). Beyond this lay a late Cretaceous ocean basin in the Vardar Zone. This ocean was consumed in an easterly-dipping subduction zone in latest Cretaceous (?) to early Tertiary time, giving rise to an accretionary complex (Ermioni Complex). During early Tertiary (Palaeocene-Eocene) time the passive continental margin (Pelagonian Zone) collided with the trench and accretionary complex to the east. As the suture tightened, former lower-slope carbonates (Ermioni Limestones) were accreted to the base of the over-riding thrust sheets and emplaced onto the platform. Farther west, bituminous upper slope carbonates (Poros Formation) flexurally subsided and passed transitionally upwards into calcareous flysch and olistostromes in a foreland basin. These sediments were then overridden by the emplacing thrust stack and themselves underplated. Late-stage high-angle faulting then disrupted the tectonostratigraphy, in places juxtaposing relatively high and low structural levels of the complex. © 1990, Cambridge University Press. All rights reserved.

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Geological Magazine

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