Progradation of a shallow carbonate platform developed on a fault-block in the Western Tethys (lower Aptian, Sierra de Bedmar-Jódar, Prebetic of Jaén, Spain).

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The Middle Member of the Llopis Fm in the Sierra de Bedmar-Jódar Unit of the Prebetic Zone of Jaén (southern Spain) was deposited on a shallow-marine platform of the Southern Iberian Continental Margin during the earliest Aptian. Detailed field logging of nine stratigraphic sections and facies mapping have allowed seven lithofacies associations (L1–L6) to be distinguished, one siliciclastic (L1) and five carbonate facies (L2–6). The succession is composed of eight consecutive elemental sequences of lithofacies associations L1–L6. Each elemental sequence is interpreted as representing one episode of shallowing-upwards carbonate deposition in a very shallow platform-lagoon that was bounded shoreward by clastic/ooid bars and passed seaward either to stromatoporoid bioconstructions (bioherms and biostromes) or rudist biostromes. The successive elemental sequences show north-eastward progradational geometries. Three phases of platform development are identified: (1) installation of the shallow platform; (2) development of a lagoon bounded by a stromatoporoid barrier and (3) development of an Urgonian-type platform dominated by rudists. During the early Aptian, the Bedmar-Jódar platform was partially isolated from the rest of the Prebetic platform and showed overall progradation towards the NE, in contrast to the general south-eastward progradational trend of the Prebetic platform. Sedimentation was controlled by rift-generated extensional tectonics that resulted in tilting of the platform block, causing the deviation of progradation from the general trends of the Prebetic Platform. In addition, climatic influence is inferred from the presence of siliciclastic sediments derived from weathering of the hinterland, which restricted the carbonate factory.