Sedimentary facies and biofacies of the Torinosu Limestone in the Torinosu area, Kochi Prefecture, Japan

Hiromichi Ohga, Boguslaw Kolodziej, Martin Nose, Dieter U. Schmid, Hideko Takayanagi, Yasufumi Iryu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The Torinosu Limestone represents carbonate platform deposits in a foreland basin, the sedimentary setting of which is highly different from those of well-known Late Jurassic reefs in the western Tethys that developed on shelf areas of continental margins and intra-Tethyan platforms. Sedimentological and paleontological analyses were conducted on a 55.5m-thick Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous (Tithonian-Berriasian) carbonate sequence (Torinosu Limestone) at the Eastern Hitotsubuchi Quarry, Kochi Prefecture, Southwest Japan. The carbonate sequence is composed of two sections that are separated by a subaerial exposure surface. Two and three depositional units have been defined in the lower and upper sections, respectively, based on changes in lithology and the biotic composition of the carbonates; they are numbered from 1 to 5, in ascending order. Calcified demosponges (stromatoporoids and a chaetetid Chaetetopsis crinita) are abundant in three units (2, 3, and 5), in which microencrusters (mostly Lithocodium aggregatum and Bacinella irregularis) and microbialites are also common to abundant. Although most of them are para-allochthonous, in-situ branching stromatoporoids are found on and above the subaerial exposure surface (unit 3). Corals are less common, poorly diverse, and primarily represented by the family Microsolenidae. Siliciclastic grains occur in all units, but they are particularly common in units 1 and 4. The co-occurrence of the Lithocodium-Bacinella association, which is typical of oligotrophic or moderately mesotrophic shallow-water environments, with microsolenids, which are indicative of high nutrient levels and/or low-light intensity due to high turbidity, suggests repeated changes in nutrient levels associated with terrigenous input. Based on lithology, biotic composition, and succession, we infer that sea-level changes and related terrigenous input controlled the sedimentary environment of the studied carbonate sequence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-169
Number of pages20
JournalIsland Arc
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun


  • Lower Cretaceous
  • Microbialite
  • Microencruster
  • Stromatoporoid
  • Torinosu Limestone
  • Upper Jurassic


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