A glimpse of the lost Upper Triassic to Middle Jurassic architecture of the Dinaric Carbonate Platform margin and slope
In the southernmost outcrops of the Slovenian Basin the Middle Jurassic coarse-grained limestone breccia (mega)beds are interstratified within a succession that is otherwise dominated by hemipelagites and distal turbidites. In this paper, these beds are described as the Ponikve Breccia Member of the Tolmin Formation. We provide descriptions of the studied sections with detailed geological maps and analysis of the breccia lithoclasts. From the latter, a non-outcropping margin of the Dinaric Carbonate Platform is reconstructed. In the Late Triassic the platform margin was characterized by a Dachstein-type marginal reef. After the end-Triassic extinction event, the platform architecture remained, but the reefs were replaced by sand shoals characterized by ooids. In the late Early Jurassic and/or early Middle Jurassic a slope area might have been dissected by normal faults and a step-like paleotopography was formed. In the Bajocian, during a period of major regional geodynamic perturbations, extensional or transtensional tectonic activity intensified and triggered the large-scale collapses of the Dinaric Carbonate Platform margin producing the limestone breccias described herein. This may in turn have caused a backstepping of the platform margin, as is evident from the occurrence of Late Jurassic marginal reefs that are installed directly above the Upper Triassic and Lower Jurassic inner platform successions.