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Revised middle Triassic stratigraphy of the Swiss Prealps based on conodonts and correlation to the Briançonnais (Western Alps)

  • Aymon Baud
  • Pablo Plasencia
  • Francis Hirsch
  • Sylvain Richoz
Publishing year: 2016-12-01
Language: English
Pages: 365-377
Publication/Series: Swiss Journal of Geosciences
Volume: 109
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Birkhauser Verlag Basel

Abstract english

The Triassic in the “Médianes rigides” Nappe of the Swiss Prealps, belonging to the Briançonnais realm of the Western Alps, consists of a several hundred meters thick carbonate succession. At the localities Wiriehorn and Rothorn, 650 m above sequence base, the Costatoria goldfussi limestone, a remarkable coquina and widespread transgressive marker bed, yields the key conodont Sephardiella truempyi (HIRSCH), a proxy for the Curionii - lower Gredleri ammonoid Zones (Early Ladinian). This new discovery has deep implications on the age of the different Triassic formations in the Swiss Prealps and for its correlation with other tectonic units. The newly established Pralet Formation in the Swiss Prealps comprises the Balmi Member with the Lower Ladinian Costatoria goldfussi limestone at its base, followed by the dolomitic breccias of the Ladinian Erpilles Member. Below the S. truempyi level, both the mighty platform carbonate sequence of the Wiriehorn Formation in the Swiss Prealps, and of the coeval Champcella Formation in the Brianconnais realm, are reassigned here to the Late Anisian. In our revised correlation, the Costatoria goldfussi limestone corresponds to the main flooding surface (MFS) of the large marine transgression that correlates biostratigraphically the now well dated Upper Muschelkalk transgression in Provence, Sardinia and Spain with the basal Ladinian type locality at Bagolino in the Southern Alps.


  • Anisian
  • Carbonate platform
  • Costatoria goldfussi limestone
  • Ladinian
  • Large marine transgression


  • ISSN: 1661-8726
Sylvain Richoz
E-mail: sylvain [dot] richoz [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Lithosphere and Biosphere Science

+46 46 222 78 89

Sölvegatan 12, Lund