Advertisement

Paleoalgology pp 216-225 | Cite as

The “Coralligène” of the Mediterranean — a Recent Analog for Tertiary Coralline Algal Limestones

  • D. W. J. Bosence

Abstract

During the 1950’s and 1960’s, considerable work was undertaken by French biologists and geologists on the nature of Recent coralline algal buildups (“coralligène”) of the Mediterranean. Much of this work is summarized in Pérès (1967), Blanc (1968), and Laborel (1961). The best known example of the “coralligène” is the intertidal “trottoir” or “corniche” constructed principally of Lithophyllum tortuosum on steep rocky coasts (Blanc and Molinier 1955, Laborel 1961). Similarly, large coralline buildups occur on sublittoral rocky slopes (Laborel 1961). The coralligène de plateau, the subject of this paper, occurs in deeper shelf waters and passes laterally into carbonate sands and gravels or terrigenous sands and muds (Laborel 1961). This coralligdne is found widely distributed in the Mediterranean between depths of 20 to 160 m. The shallow occurrences of 30–50 m at Marseille and of 20–40 m at Banyuls (see below) are in more turbid coastal waters. Examples at 100–160 m are found in the southern Mediterranean (Pérès 1967). The corallines involved in construction of the coralligène are Mesophyllum lichenoides, Pseudolithophyllum expansum, Neogoniolithon mamillosum and Lithothamnium philippii. Three modes of growth have been recognized in these corallines by Laborel (1961): (1) foliaceous (feulléte), bifurcating thalli of M. lichenoides, L. philippii and P. expansum; (2) branching (fructiculeux), thick, adherent crusts of N. mamillosum and (3) thin, closely layered (concentrique) thalli of P. expansum. Laborel (1961) also describes the growth cycle for the coralligène de plateau of shelly gravel and rhodolith accumulation, stabilization by encrusting corallines, crustose coralline construction, bioerosion, and collapse.

Keywords

Coralline Alga Internal Sediment Reef Framework Reef Rock Algal Limestone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adey WH (1975) The algal ridges and coral reefs of St. Croix and their Holocene development. Atoll Res Bull 187:67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adey WH, Adey PJ (1973) Studies on the biosystematics and ecology of the epilithic crustose corallines of the British Isles. Br Physol J 8: 343–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Adey WH, Townsend R, Boykins W (1985) The crustose coralline algae (Rhodophyta: Corallinaceae) of the Hawaian Islands. Smithson Contrib Mar Sci 15:74Google Scholar
  4. Blanc JJ (1968) The sediments of the Mediterranean Sea. Oceanogr Mar Biol Annu Rev 6: 373– 545Google Scholar
  5. Blanc JJ, Molinier R (1955) Les formations organogenes construites superficielles en Méditerranée occidentale. Bull Inst Oceanogr Monaco 1067:26Google Scholar
  6. Bosence DWJ (1983a) Coralline algae from the Miocene of Malta. Palaeontology 26: 147–173Google Scholar
  7. Bosence DWJ (1983b) Coralline algal reef frameworks. J Geol Soc London 140: 365–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bosence DWJ (1984) Construction and preservation of two Recent coralline algal reefs, St. Croix, Caribbean. Palaeontology 27: 549–574Google Scholar
  9. Bosence DWJ, Pedley HM (1982) Sedimentology and palaeoecology of a Miocene coralline algal biostrome from the Maltese Islands. Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol Palaeogeogr 38: 9–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cotte J (1914) L’association de Cliona viridis et de Lithophyllum expansum. C R Soc Biol 76: 739–740Google Scholar
  11. Ginsburg RN, Schroeder H (1973) Growth and submarine fossilization of algal cup reefs, Bermuda. Sedimentology 20: 575–614CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Laborel J (1961) Le concretionnement algal ‘coralligène’ et son importance geomorphologique en Mediterranée. Recl Trav Stu Mar Endonme Marseille Fasc Hors Ser 23: 37–60Google Scholar
  13. Laubier L (1965) Le coralligène des Albéres; Monopaphic biocoenotique. Ann Inst Oceanogr 43: 137–316Google Scholar
  14. Pérès JM (1967) The Mediterranean benthos. Oceanogr Mar Biol Annu Rev 5:449–533Google Scholar
  15. Studencki W (1979) Sedimentation of algal limestones from Busko-Spa environs (middle Miocene, Central Poland). Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 27: 155–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Taberner C, Bosence DWJ (this vol) Ecological succession from corals to coralline algae in Eocene patch reefs of Northern SpainGoogle Scholar
  17. Wray JL (1977) Calcareous algae. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 185pGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. W. J. Bosence
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of London, Goldsmiths’ CollegeDeptford, LondonGreat Britain

Personalised recommendations