Mass Burial site of the Gryphaeas in Upper Cretaceous sedimentary cover of the Khrami massif, Lesser Caucasus, Georgia

Gamkrelidze, Iralki and Okrostsvaridze, Avtandil and Sharikadze, Mevlud and Tormey, Daniel (2023) Mass Burial site of the Gryphaeas in Upper Cretaceous sedimentary cover of the Khrami massif, Lesser Caucasus, Georgia. In: MedGU - 3rd Mediterranean Geosciences Union conference.

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Earth’s globally significant geological heritage is recognized by UNESCO as a scientific, educational, environ�mental protection and economical areas. We believe that we have found one such site in the sedimentary cover of the Khrami massif. This pre-Jurassic crystalline massif (~500 km2 ) is located in Georgia, within the Lesser Caucasus orogenic belt. On its eastern periphery, near the village of Kldeisi, a geological phenomenon is preserved in the volcanogenic-sedi�mentary rocks. A massive colony of well-preserved Gryphaeas is exposed in the Maastrichtian carbonate sediments. The length of this exposed part is ~50 meters, with an average thickness of ~5 meters. This exposure is intersected in the central part by a ~1.5 meter-thick gabbroic subvolcanic body. The Gryphaeas outcrops are covered with a ~2 meter-thick volcanic layer, with SiO2 content ranging from 30 to 47% and CaO content ranging from 22 to 36%. A similar mass burial of the Gryphaeas has not been described in the scientific literature, and figuratively, we can call it “Pompeii of the Gryphaeas”. Gryphaeas are shallow sea mollusks, representing a class of Bivalvia in the Gryphaeidae family. These fossils existed from the Triassic to the middle Paleogene period. We believe that the Kldeisi Gryphaea exposure is unique due to the preservation of this colony in its primitive form, attributed to volcanic activity. Consequently, it offers a best-case scenario of active geological processes and biosphere interaction. Nevertheless, the outcrop reveals several interesting geological patterns, such as the succession of Gryphaea layers and volcanic layers. Additionally, basalt pillow lavas can be found in the sur�rounding bulk material. As is known, since Maastrichtian times, the Transcaucasus microplate initiated rifting processes and gradually separated the southern provinces: Artvin–Bolnisi and Loki–Karabakhi zones. Most likely, this volcanic ac�tivity represents part of this process. We firmly believe that the Kldeisi Gryphaea outcrops represent a significant geoherit�age and educational site and, consequently, the foremost geotourist attraction

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Depositing User: ავთანდილ ოქროსცვარიძე
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2023 06:32
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2023 06:32

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