Biostratinomy and palaeoecology of the cassian formation (Triassic) of the Southern Alps
The sediments forming the Cassian Formation (Middle—Upper Triassic) of the Central Dolomites represent the following environments: back-reef areas, shallow marginal basins, slope, and central basin. In each of these major environments faunal assemblages were found whose composition, mode of preservation and occurrence proved to be characteristics. In the back-reef areas, algal/foraminifera- and calcareous sponge/coral-patch reefs with a highly diverse fauna of frame-builders and reef-dwellers, in some localities excellently preserved, form the most conspicuous feature. In the shallow marginal basins autochthonous algal meadow/soft-bottom associations dominated by gastropods and deposit-feeding bivalves prevail. Slope deposits do not contain any autochthonous associations but either remains of pelagic faunas or transported faunal elements of shallow-water origin in the form of Cipit boulders (subaerially cemented parts from the outer edge of the carbonate platforms), worn Pachycardia rugosa-dominated, or echinoderm debris-dominated assemblages. Sediments of the central basin lack benthic faunas but contains pelagic assemblages of low diversity dominated by Daonella, Posidonia, and some ammonites.