Paleocollapse structures and collapse breccias are one of the major features for paleokarst analysis and paleoclimate record. These are affecting the Llucmajor and Santanyí carbonate platforms. These platforms, of southern and eastern Mallorca respectively, are a good example of progradation reef platform in the western Mediterranean. The Santanyí platform is constituted of two sedimentary units, both affected by paleocollapse structures: (1) The Reef Complex attributed to the upper Tortonian-lower Messinian; (2) Santanyí Limestone attributed to the Messinian. There are abundant paleocollapse outcropping in the Reef Complex and Santanyí Limestone units. These structures have been produced by roof collapse of caverns developed in the underlying reefal complex. According to the genetic model, the origin of same paleocollapse structures may be related to early diagenetic processes controlled by high-frequency sea-level fluctuations. During the lowstands of sea level, fresh water flow or mixing zone might have created a cave system near the water table by dissolution of aragonite in the reef front facies and coral patches existing in the lagoonal beds. During subsequent rise and highstands of sea level, inner-shelf beds overlaid the previously karstified reef-core and outer-lagoonal beds. Increase of loading by subsequent accretion of the shallow-water carbonate might have produced paleocollapse structures by gravitational collapse of cave roof. Morphometric and structural classification of paleocollapse is based on geometric and structural criteria according to the type of deformed strata and strata dip. Paleocollapse structures can be classified according to geometric section, size of the paleocave and lithification degree of the host rock when collapsed. Breccias are classified as crackle, mosaic and chaotic types. In same paleocollapse the type of breccias present a vertical and lateral gradation, from crackle in the upper part, to chaotic in the lower part of the paleocollapse. Chaotic breccias grade from matrix-free, clasts-supported breccias to matrix-supported breccias. Relationship with high frequency of sea-level fluctuation, facies architecture, classification features and products permit to enhance a general paleoclimatic framework.
Ardila, P. A. Robledo; J. J. Durán; and L. Pomar.
Paleocollapse structures as geological record for reconstruction of past karst processes during the Upper Miocene of Mallorca Island.
International Journal of Speleology,
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ijs/vol33/iss1/8