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A comparison of modern dryland depositional systems with the Rotliegend Group in the Netherlands


, : A comparison of modern dryland depositional systems with the Rotliegend Group in the Netherlands. Special Publication - Society for Sedimentary Geology 98

The Rotliegend Group in the Netherlands provides a depositional record of fluvial, aeolian, and playa interaction within a major Permian dryland basin. Ephemeral fluvial systems drained off the London-Brabant and Rhenish Massifs and flowed northwards towards the Silverpit Formation desert lake, whilst marginal dune fields expanded and contracted in response to changing aridity and fluvial runoff. There are few modern parallels to the scale of the Southern Permian Basin depositional system as a whole, but recent dryland analogues provide a valuable means to understand the depositional processes which locally operated across the basin during the Late Permian. A variety of modern analogues is required to adequately sample the range of climatic conditions that the Rotliegend depositional systems encountered, with examples selected from modern ergs, fluvial and alluvial fans, playa, lacustrine, and saline-lake settings. However, although the longterm allocyclic controls on deposition and preservation of the Rotliegend have long been recognized, the contrast between the diversity of surficial facies seen in modern dryland settings and that preserved in the ancient record suggests that the Rotliegend also failed to preserve much of the expected facies diversity through aeolian deflation and sustained, polycyclic reworking of interacting fluvial, lacustrine, and aeolian systems. Widespread fluvial activity and lacustrine shoreline facies, which form a visible record of relatively recent pluvial episodes in modern basins, have limited preservation potential, and maps of gross facies belts in the Rotliegend are not true palaeogeographic facies arrangements but time-averaged associations of those facies which ultimately entered the stratigraphic record.

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