The Steudnitz quarry (East Thuringia, Germany) exposes the entire Lower Muschelkalk (Middle Triassic, Anisian) with a thickness of 103 m. In this paper, a primarily palynofacies-based sequence-stratigraphical interpretation supported by lithological investigations is proposed. Palynofacies of the sampled carbonate rocks is dominated by land-derived phytoclasts and pollen grains. Spores are quite rare. Marine plankton reaches its maximum abundance in an interval around the Thuringian Spiriferinabed and the Terebratel-beds. In accordance with lithological features, this interval may be interpreted as a third-order maximum-flooding zone. Two different third-order interpretations are presented and discussed. Third-order sequences and parasequences sets can be identified by use of palynofacies analysis. Furthermore, palynofacies analysis provides an additional possibility of recognizing partly eroded or originally incomplete cycles ('missed beats'). In some cases, a resolution down to the level of parasequences is possible. High-resolution palynofacies analysis is a powerful new tool in sedimentology but should always be combined with lithofacies interpretation. It provides very useful, additional information for high-resolution sequence analysis and palaeoenvironmental interpretation. Being a rather young method, high-resolution palynofacies analysis still shows some calibration problems with classical methods. However, these should be solvable by further research.
- Sequence- and cyclostratigraphy
- Triassic (Lower Muschelkalk, Anisian)