Facies and depositional environments of the Upper Muschelkalk (Schinznach Formation, Middle Triassic) in northern Switzerland

Adams, Arthur; Diamond, Larryn W. (2019). Facies and depositional environments of the Upper Muschelkalk (Schinznach Formation, Middle Triassic) in northern Switzerland. Swiss journal of geosciences Birkhäuser 10.1007/s00015-019-00340-7

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Subsurface sedimentary strata in northern Switzerland, such as the Middle Triassic Upper Muschelkalk, are attracting interest as potential reservoirs for CO2 sequestration and for geothermal energy production. Characterizing facies in such strata aids prediction of reservoir properties in unexplored areas. Although well studied elsewhere, the Swiss Upper Muschelkalk has received little attention despite containing the southern-most deposits of the Central European Basin. The Upper Muschelkalk represents the deposits of a storm-dominated, homoclinal carbonate ramp, developed during a basin- wide 3rd-order transgressive–regressive cycle. Our facies analyses of nine boreholes across northern Switzerland reveal 12 lithofacies, eight lithofacies associations and four types of metre-scale 5th-order cycles corresponding to at least 23 short orbital eccentricity cycles. During the 3rd-order transgression, crinoidal bioherms developed across Switzerland followed by deep-ramp environments. Subsequently, tempestites were deposited up to and after the basin-wide maximum flooding surface. Lateral tempestite correlations indicate that Switzerland lay within an open-marine, mid-ramp environment during almost half of the depositional history. Mid-ramp deposits pass upwards to prograding shelly shoals, which sheltered a back-shoal lagoon containing patchy oolitic shoals. At the top of the Upper Muschelkalk, back-shoal sediments give way to coastal sabkha facies, which were overlain by oolitic shoals during a marine transgression. Shortly thereafter the top of the Upper Muschelkalk was dolomitized by brines from an overlying hypersaline environment that was later removed by a basin-wide erosive event. Overall, the paucity of porous shoal facies, unlike in southern Germany, has resulted in poor primary reservoir properties in the Upper Muschelkalk of Switzerland.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Adams, Arthur and Diamond, Larryn William

Subjects:

500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology

ISSN:

1661-8726

Publisher:

Birkhäuser

Language:

English

Submitter:

Larryn William Diamond

Date Deposited:

11 Jun 2019 16:20

Last Modified:

11 Jun 2019 16:20

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s00015-019-00340-7

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.130212

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/130212

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