The Upper Barremian to Lower Aptian Urgonian formation

In this project, the evolution and timing of the so-called “Urgonian” platform is investigated in the Helvetic Alps. Urgonian-type platform carbonates include the remains of typical photozoan carbonate-producing ecosystems composed of corals, rudists, stromatoporoids, chaetetids, green algae, benthic foraminifera and calcareous sponges, which were widespread in tropical and subtropical regions during the late Early Cretaceous. Goals of this research are the establishment of the exact timing of the arrival of this platform in the Helvetic segment of the northern Tethyan realm, facies and microfacies, sequence stratigraphy, geochemical and mineralogical records (i.e., carbon isotopes, phosphorus contents), in order to better understand the development of this mainly oligotrophic platform in a time which was characterized by frequent environmental change and regional to global marine anoxia.


Karl Föllmi

PhD student
Lucie Bonvallet

Annie Arnaud
Thierry Adatte