The mud mound nature of the Cassian Platform Margins of the Dolomites A case history: the Cipit boulders from Punta Grohmann (Sasso Piatto Massif, northern Italy)
The sedimentological features and the microbiofacies of the Cassian platforms (Late Ladinian-Carnian) of the Dolomites can be studied only on the basis of the socalled “Cipit boulders”, that are platform-derived olistoliths and clasts fed to the basin and escaped to the extensive dolomitization affecting the buildups. Our paper deals with the Cipit boulders occurring in the Punta Grohmann section (Wengen and S. Cassiano formations, Late Ladinian, Archelaus and Regoledanus Zones). The dominant microfacies are represented by boundstone, consisting of nearly 60% of micritic limestone occurring both as peloidal or aphanitic micrite, mostly organized into stromatolitic laminites of thrombolites. The skeletal organism ( Tubiphytes , skeletal cyanobacteria, sphinctozoan sponges, etc.) represent only a minor component of the rock (usually less than 10%). Early cements are widespread and consist both of fan-shaped calcite (replacing former aragonite), bladed isopachous magnesian calcite and radial-fibrous calcite (neomorphic after Mg-calcite). The carbonate platforms from which the olistoliths derive were made up mainly of carbonate mud that underwent early lithification, as witnessed by the considerable amount of early cements: therefore they may be regarded to as mudmounds, and more precisely as microbial mud-mounds, due to the clearly accretionary, organic-controlled nature of most micrites. The micrites, subdivided into auto- and allomicrite on the basis of micromorphological and fabric characteristics, have been tested for epifluorescence. The results confirm the organic control on the deposition of automicrite, also in the cases in which a microbial influence is not obvious (i.e. aphanitic micrite without internal organization).