Hu, Xiu‑Fang


Eustasy has commonly been invoked to explain peritidal carbonate cyclicity, but is difficult to explain cycles formed in a greenhouse climate when eustasy is minimal. We propose that peritidal cycles on an Early Triassic isolated carbonate platform in Guizhou, South China, were formed by hierarchical carbonate productivity variations. Most of the 149 shallowing-upward cycles are typically terminated by flooding over intertidal facies and contain rare supratidal facies and no prolonged subaerial exposure. Low-diversity benthos in the platform interior during the post-end-Permian biotic recovery were sensitive to environmental perturbations, which caused variations in benthic sediment productivity in the subtidal carbonate factory. The perturbations may be driven by changes in salinity and degree of eutrophication, or repeated platform mini-drowning by anoxic and/or CO2-charged deep water upwelled onto the banktop. They were modulated by Milankovitch orbitally-driven climatic and oceanographic factors as suggested by the hierarchical stacking pattern and spectral signals of these cycles. A one-dimensional conceptual model shows that hierarchical productivity variations alone may generate hierarchical peritidal carbonate cycles under conditions of constant subsidence and no sea-level fluctuation.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering


Open Access funded by China University of Petroleum (Beijing)

Keywords and Phrases

Carbonate; Climate; Cycle; Peritidal; Productivity; South China; Triassic

Geographic Coverage

South China

Time Period


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2014 China University of Petroleum Beijing, All rights reserved.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2014

Included in

Geology Commons