Lower Permian Košna conglomerates of the Velebit Mt. (Croatia): modal composition, provenance and depositional environment

Main Article Content

Iva Palatinuš
Katarina Gobo
Karmen Fio Firi
Frane Marković
Jasenka Sremac


The multicoloured ‘Košna’ conglomerates are investigated in the area of the Košna Voda spring, in the Brušane area of Velebit Mt., Croatia. The studied conglomerates consist of red-coloured matrix and clasts of various lithologies (sandstones, limestones, chert and quartz pebbles) and sizes, suggesting provenance from different areas. Average clast size and their percentage was determined by the Udden-Wentworth classification with estimation of the matrix content. Clasts and matrix lithological and mineralogical characteristics were determined using petrographic, ore microscopy, and X-ray diffraction analysis. Sandstone clasts in the studied conglomerates are classified as lithic arenites, subarkoses and arkoses. Limestone clasts are mostly wackestones to packstones with foraminifera, ostracods, echinoid and bryozoan fragments that derive from late Carboniferous/early Permian shallow-marine limestones. Calcispheres and incipient growth forms of Microcodium are also present, suggesting different sediment sources and resedimentation processes. Fragments of fusulinid foraminifera were identified in the matrix of the ‘Košna’ conglomerates. Based on the analyses performed, and field observations, the ‘Košna’ conglomerates are described as early Permian (Cisuralian) polymictic clast-supported to matrix-supported conglomerates and breccia-conglomerates that share structural and textural similarities with conglomerates from other areas in the Dinarides, as well as in the Eastern and Southern Alps. The ‘Košna’ conglomerates are younger than the Sakmarian and are comparable with the Trogkofel limestones of the Carnic Alps and the Karavanke Mts. in Slovenia. We suggest that the studied deposits originated from the uplifted Variscan Mountains during the Variscan and Saalian orogenic movements, and were finally deposited from tractive flows and occasional debris flows in a shallow marine environment of the Palaeo-Tethys, possibly in fan deltas.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Original Scientific Papers


ALJINOVIĆ, D. (1997): Facijesi klastičnih sedimenata mlađega paleozoika i starijega trijasa Gorskoga kotara [Late Palaeozoic and Early Scythian clastic facies – in Croatian].– Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Zagreb, 163 p.

ALJINOVIĆ, D. & SREMAC, J. (1997): The Middle and Upper Permian Deposits in Gorski Kotar: Facts and Misconceptions.– Geologia Croatica, 50/2, 231–242.

ALJINOVIĆ, D., SREMAC, J. & IBRAHIMPAŠIĆ, H. (2003): Permian and Lower Triassic Facies of Velebit Mt. and the Gorski Kotar Region (NW Part of External Dinarides).– In: VLAHOVIĆ, I. & TIŠLJAR, J. (eds.): Field Trip Guidebook, 22nd IAS Meeting of Sedimentology – Opatija 2003, Institute of Geology – Zagreb, 183–206.

CASSINIS, G., TOUTIN-MORIN, N. & VIRGILI, C. (1995): A General Outline of the Permian Continental Basins in Southwestern Europe.– In: SCHOLLE, P.A., PERYT, T.M. & ULMER-SCHOLLE, D.S. (eds.): The Permian of Northern Pangea, Volume 2: Sedimentary Basins and Economic Resources, Springer, Berlin, 137–157. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-78590-0_8

CASSINIS, G. & PEROTTI, C.R. (2007): A stratigraphic and tectonic review of the Italian Southern Alpine Permian.– Palaeoworld, 16/1–3, 140–172. doi: 10.1016/j.palwor.2007.05.004

CASSINIS, G., RONCHI, A., GRETTER, N. & DURAND, M. (2008): The Val Daone Conglomerate: a Middle Permian key unit from the Central Southern Alps (western Trentino, Italy), and regional stratigraphic imlications.– Bollettino della Società geologica italiana (Italian Journal of Geosciences), 127/3, 519–532.

CASSINIS, G., PEROTTI, C.R. & RONCHI, A. (2012): Permian continental basins in the Southern Alps (Italy) and peri-Mediterranean correlations.– International Journal of Earth Sciences, 101, 129–157. doi: 10.1007/s00531-011-0642-6

CASSINIS, G., PEROTTI, C.R. & RONCHI, A. (2013): Geological remarks on the Carboniferous-Permian continental succession of Southwestern Europe.– New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin, 60, 57–63.

CHETTY, T.R.K. (2017): Proterozoic Orogens of India. Chapter 1 – Orogens, Elsevier, 1–34. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-804441-4.00001-8

CLEAL, C.J., TENCHOV, Y.G., SREMAC, J., ĐEREK, T. & JAPUNDŽIĆ, S. (2015): Pennsylvanian fossil flora from the Velebit Mountains and Lika region (SW Croatia).– Bulletin of Geosciences, 90/3, 721–742. doi: 10.3140/bull.geosci.1529

CONEY, P.J., JONES, D.L. & MONGER, J.W.H. (1980): Cordilleran suspect terranes.– Nature, 288, 329–333. doi: 10.1038/288329a0

DEROIN, J.P. & BONIN, B. (2003): Late Variscan tectonomagmatic activity in Western Europe and surrounding areas: The Mid-Permian Episode.– Boll. Soc. Geol. It. (Volume Speciale), 2, 169–184.

DICKINSON, W.R., BEARD, L.S., BRAKENRIDGE, G.R. & ERJAVEC, J. (1983): Provenance of North American Phanerozoic sandstones in relation to tectonic setting.– Geological Society of America Bulletin, 94, 222–235. doi: 10.1130/0016-7606(1983)94%3C222:PONAPS%3E2.0.CO;2

DICKSON, J.A.D. (1966): Carbonate identification and genesis as revealed by staining.– Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 36/2, 491–505.

DRAKE, T.G. (1990): Structural features in granular flows.– Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 95/B6, 8681–8696. doi: 10.1029/JB095iB06p08681

DUNHAM, R.J. (1962): Classification of Carbonate Rocks According to Depositional Texture.– In: HAM, W.E. (ed.): Classification of Carbonate Rocks, AAPG, Tulsa, 08–121.

ESTEBAN, M. (1972): Una nueva forma de Microcodium elegans Glueck 1912 y su relación con el caliche del Eoceno Inferior, Marmella, provincial de Tarragona (España).– Instituto de Investigaciones Geologicas, Universidad de Barcelona, Revista, 27, 65–81.

EVAMY, B.D. (1969): The precipitational environment and correlation of some calcite cements deducted from artificial staining.– Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 39/2, 787–821.

FLÜGEL, E. & KRAUS, S. (1986): The lower Permian Sexten Breccia (Sexten Dolomites) and the Tarvis Breccia (Carnic Alps): microfacies, depositional environment and paleotectonic implications.– Memorie della Società Geologica Italiana, 34, 67–90.

FOETTERLE, F. (1855): Bericht über den geologischen Untersuchungen im Kroatischen Küstenlande.– Jahr. Geol. R. A., 6, 417 p.

FOLK, R.L. (1959): Practical Petrographic Classification of Limestones.– AAPG Bulletin, 43, 1–38.

GALLOWAY, J.J. & HARLTON, B.H. (1928): Some Pennsylvanian Foraminifera of Oklahoma with special reference to the genus Orobias.– Journal of Paleontology, 2, 338–357.

GRETTER, N., RONCHI, A., LANGONE, A. & PEROTTI, C.R. (2013): The transition between two major Permian tectono-stratigraphic cycles in the central Southern Alps: results from facies analysis and U/Pb geochronology.– International Journal of Earth Sciences, 102, 1181–1202. doi: 10.1007/s00531-013-0886-4

GRUBIĆ, A. (1980): Early Middle Permian break in the geotectonic evolution of Yugoslav Dinarides.– In: Metalogenesis of Uranium, 26th Inter. Geol. Cong., Paris, Sect. 13.2.2., Geoinstitut, Beograd, 203–214.

HAUER, F. (1868): Geologische Übersichtskarte der Österreichisch-Ungarische Monarchie. Blatt X, Dalmatien.– Jarh. Geol. R. A., 18, 431–454.

ICDD (2004): Powder diffraction file PDF-2, Release 2004, Newton Square.

KABANOV, P., ANADÓN, P. & KRUMBEIN, W.E. (2008): Microcodium: An extensive review and a proposed non-rhizogenic biologically induces origin for its formation.– Sedimentary Geology, 205, 79–99. doi: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2008.02.003

KARAMATA, S. (2006): The geological development of the Balkan Peninsula related to the approach, collision and compression of Gondwanan and Eurasian units.– In: ROBERTSON, A.H.F. & MOUNTRAKIS, D. (eds.): Tectonic development of the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Geological Society of London Special Publications, 260, 155–178. doi: 10.1144/GSL.SP.2006.260.01.07

KOCH, F. (1909a): Geologijska prijegledna karta Kraljevine Hrvatske i Slavonije. Medak-Sv. Rok, 1:75 000.– Izdanje Kraljevske hrvatsko-slavonsko-dalmatinske zemaljske vlade Odjela za unutarnje poslove, Zagreb.

KOCH, F. (1909b): Geologijska prijegledna karta Kraljevine Hrvatske i Slavonije. Tumač geologijske karte Medak-Sv. Rok, 1:75 000.– Naklada Kraljevske zemaljske vlade Odjela za unutarnje poslove, Izdanje. Geol. povj. 7, 1–31, Zagreb.

KOCH, F. (1914): Izvještaj o geološkom snimanju Velebita i Like u godini 1913.– Vijesti geološkog povjerenstva, 3–4, 27–29.

KOCH, F. (1929a): Geološka karta Hrvatske, Slavonije i Dalmacije (prilog geološkoj karti Kraljevine Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca). Karlobag-Jablanac.– Naklada Geol. zav. u Zagrebu, Repr. Vojnogeogr. Inst., Beograd.

KOCH, F. (1929b): Tumač Geološkoj karti Karlobag-Jablanac. Prilog geologiji Velebita i Like.– Posebno izdanje Geol. zav. u Zagrebu, 1–42.

KOCHANSKY-DEVIDÉ, V. (1955): Karbonske i permske fuzulinidne foraminifere Velebita i Like. I. Opći dio i karbon.– Rad JAZU, 305, 5–62.

KOCHANSKY-DEVIDÉ, V. (1959): Karbonske i permske fuzulinidne foraminifere Velebita i Like. Donji perm.– Paleontologia jugoslavica, JAZU, 3, 62 p.

KOCHANSKY-DEVIDÉ, V. (1965): Karbonske i permske fuzulinidne foraminifere Velebita i Like. Srednji i gornji perm.– Acta geologica, JAZU, 5, 101–150.

KOCHANSKY-DEVIDÉ, V. (1973): Trogkofelske naslage u Hrvatskoj.– Geološki vjesnik, 26, 41–51.

KOŠIR, A. (2004): Microcodium Revisited: Root Calcification Products of Terrestrial Plants on Carbonate-Rich Substrates.– Journal of Sedimentary Research, 74/6, 845–857. doi: 10.1306/040404740845

KRAINER, K. (1989): Composition and evolution of Lower Periman molasse sediments (Ponte Gardena Conglomerate) at the base of the Bolzano Volcanic Complex, Southern Alps (N Italy).– Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie-Monatshefte, 400–424.

KRAINER, K. (1990): Fazielle und sedimentpetrographische Untesuchungen im Perm des Drauzuges.– Mitteilunger der Österreichischen Geologischen Gesellschaft, 82 (1989), 49–78.

KRAINER, K. (1993): Late- and Post-Varsician Sediments of the Eastern and Southern Alps.– In: Von RAUMER, J.F. & NEUBAUER, F. (ed.): Premesozoic Geology in the Alps, Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg, 537–564.

KRAINER, K. (2005): The nonmarine Permian of the Eastern and Southern Alps: a review.– In: LUCAS, S.G. & ZEIGLER, K.E. (Ed.): The Nonmarine Permian. New Mexico Museum of History and Science Bulletin, 30, 159–169.

MAROCCHI, M., MORELLI, C., MAIR, V., KLÖTZLI, U. & BARGOSSI, G.M. (2008): Evolution of large silicic magma systems: new U–Pb zircon data on the NW Permian Athesian Volcanic Group (Southern Alps, Italy).– The Journal of Geology, 116/5, 480–498. doi: 10.1086/590135

MIKLUKHO-MAKLAY, K.V. (1968): New Kazanian Cornuspiridae and Nodosariidae from the Russian platform. New species of fossil plants and invertebrates from the USSR.– VSEGEI, 2/1, 137–146.

MILANOVIĆ, M. (1982): Carboniferous microfossil associations from Gorski kotar, Hrvatsko Zagorje and Banija.− Palaeont. Jugosl., 28, 1−34.

MULDER, T. & ALEXANDER, J. (2001): The physical character of subaqueous sedimentary density flows and their deposits.– Sedimentology, 48, 269–299. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3091.2001.00360.x

NEMEC, W. & STEEL, R.J. (1984): Alluvial and coastal conglomerates: their significant features and some comments on gravelly mass-flow deposits.– In: KOSTER, E.H. & STEEL, R.J. (eds.): Sedimentology of Gravels and Conglomerates. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 10, 1–31.

PETTIJOHN, F.J., POTTER, P.E. & SIEVER, R. (1987): Sand and Sandstone. 2nd Edition, Springer-Verlag, New York, 553 p.

RAFFAELLI, P. & ŠĆAVNIČAR, B. (1968): Naslage gornjeg paleozoika Like i Gorskog kotara.– Prvi kolokvij o geologiji Dinaridov, Geološki zavod in Slovensko geološko društvo, 1, 21–27.

RAMOVŠ, A. (1963): Biostratigrahie der Trogkofel-Stufe in Jugoslawien. Neues. Jahrb. Geol. Paläontol. Monatsh, 1963/7, 382–388.

RAMOVŠ, A. (1968): Razvoj paleozoika v slovenskenm delu zunanjih Dinaridov.– I kol. geol. Dinaridov, 1. 7–19, Ljubljana.

RAMOVŠ, A., HINTERLECHNER-RAVNIK, A., KALENIĆ, M., KARAMATA, S., KOCHANSKY-DEVIDÉ, V., KRSTIĆ, B., KULENOVIĆ, E., MIRKOVIĆ, M., PETKOVSKY, P., SREMAC, J. & TEMKOVA, V. (1990): Stratigraphic Correlation Forms of the Yugoslav Paleozoic.– Rendiconti Societa Geologica Italiana, 12 (1989), 359–383.

RAMOVŠ, A. & KOCHANSKY-DEVIDÉ, V. (1965): Razvoj mlajšega paleozoika v okolici Orlneka na Dolenjskem.– Razprave IV razreda SAZU, 8, 319–416, Ljubljana.

REIJMER, J.J.G., PALMIERI, P., GROEN, R. & FLOQUET, M. (2015): Calciturbidites and calcidebrites: Sea-level variations or tectonic processes?– Sedimentary Geology, 317, 53–70. doi: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2014.10.013

SALOPEK, M. (1937): Proučavanje gornjeg paleozoika u Velebitu.– Ljetopis JAZU, 49, 188–192.

SALOPEK, M. (1938): Proučavanje gornjeg paleozoika u Brušansko-Oštarijskom prodoru.– Ljetopis JAZU, 50, 127–132.

SALOPEK, M. (1939): Karbon i perm u okolini Brušana i Sv. Roka.– Ljetopis JAZU, 51, 135–139.

SALOPEK, M. (1940): Gornji paleozoik i donji trijas u okolini Sv. Roka, Raduča i Metka.– Ljetopis JAZU, 52, 157–161.

SALOPEK, M. (1941): Paleozojski prodor Velike Paklenice u Velebitu.– Ljetopis JAZU, 53, 158–163.

SALOPEK, M. (1942): O gornjem paleozoiku Velebita u okolini Brušana i Baških Oštarija.– Rad JAZU, 274, 218–272.

SALOPEK, M. (1948): O gornjem paleozoiku sjeveroistočnog podnožja Velebita i Like.– Prirodoslovna istraživanja JAZU, 24, 1–75.

SALOPEK, M. (1949a): Gornji paleozoik u okolini Mrzle Vodice u Gorskom kotaru.– Ljetopis JAZU, 55 (1946–1948), 175–184.

SALOPEK, M. (1949b): O gornjem paleozoiku u okolini Gerova i Tršća u Gorskom kotaru.– Ljetopis JAZU, 55 (1946–1948), 193–198.

SALOPEK, M. (1952): O gornjem permu Velike Paklenice u Velebitu.– Rad JAZU, 289, 5–26.

SALOPEK, M. (1960): O gornjem paleozoiku u okolici Mrzle Vodice i Crnoga Luga.– Acta geol., 2, 121–132.

SCHAFFHAUSER, M., KRAINER, K. & SANDERS, D. (2015): Early Permian carbonate shelf margin deposits: The type section of the Trogkofel Formation (Artinskian/Kungurian), Carnic Alps, Austria/Italy. Austrian Journal of Earth Sciences, 108, 277–301. doi: 10.17738/ajes.2015.0026

SCHÖNLAUB, H.P. (1982): Die Grauwackenzone in den Eisenerzer Alpen (Österreich).– Jb. Geol. B.–A. 124, 361–423.

SCHUBERT, R.I. (1908): Zur Geologie des Österreichischen Velebit.– Jahrb. Geol. R. A., 58, 345 p.

SCHUBERT, R.I. (1910): Erläuterunger zur Geologischen Karte der im Reichsrate vertretenen Königreiche und Länder der Österreich-Ungarn Monarchie, SW-Grupper Nr. 116, Medak–Sv Rok.– Geol. Reichsanst. Wien, 1–32.

SOKAČ, B., NIKLER, L., VELIĆ, I. & MAMUŽIĆ, P. (1974): Osnovna geološka karta SFRJ 1:100 000. List Gospić L33-127 [Basic Geological Map of SFRY 1:100000, Gospić sheet L33-127 – in Croatian].– Institut za geološka istraživanja Zagreb (1967), Savezni geološki institut, Beograd.

SOKAČ, B., ŠĆAVNIČAR, B. & VELIĆ, I. (1976): Osnovna geološka karta SFRJ 1:100.000, Tumač za list Gospić L33–127 [Basic Geological Map of SFRY 1:100000, Geology of the Gospić sheet – in Croatian].– Institut za geološka istraživanja, Zagreb (1967), Savezni geološki institut Beograd, 64 p.

SREMAC, J. (1991): Zone Neoschwagerina craticulifera in the Middle Velebit Mt. (Croatia, Yugoslavia).– Geologija, 34, 7–55.

SREMAC, J. (2005): Equatorial Shelf of the Palaeozoic Supercontinent – Cradle of the Adriatic Carbonate Platform.– Geologia Croatica, 58/1, 1–19. doi: 10.4154/GC.2005.01

SREMAC, J. (2007): The Palaeozoic of Velebit Mt.– In: GRGASOVIĆ, T. & VLAHOVIĆ, I. (eds.): Field Trip Guidebook and Abstracts, 9th International Symposium on Fossil Algae Croatia in Zagreb, 2007. Croatian Geological Survey, 13–19.

SREMAC, J. (2012): Influence on terrestrial sedimentation in Pennsylvanian rocks of Croatia.– Geologia Croatica, 65/3, 273–282. doi: 10.4154/GC.2012.18

SREMAC, J. & KOCHANSKY-DEVIDÉ, V. (1982): Paleozoik Hrvatske (kratki pregled).– In: SREMAC, J. (eds.): Vodič ekskurzije. Terenski sastanak Velebit (1982). IGCP Project br. 5, Jugoslavenska radna grupa, 3–7 (41–42), Zagreb.

SUDAR, V., ALJINOVIĆ, D., SMIRČIĆ, D. & BARUDŽIJA, U. (2016): Composition and provenance of Gröden sandstone from the Velebit Mts.– The Mining-Geology- Petroleum Engineering Bulletin, 31/1, 53–67. doi: 10.17794/rgn.2016.1.6

SULEYMANOV, I.S. (1948): About some lower Carboniferous foraminifera from Sterlitamak district.– Akademiya Nauk SSSR, Trudy Instituta Geologicheskikh Nauk, geologicheskaya seriya, 62/19, 244–245.

SWANSON, R.G. (1981): Standard Abbreviations For Lithologic Descriptions.– In: Sample examination manual, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 140 p.

TERRY, R.D. & CHILINGAR, G.V. (1955): Summary of „Concerning some additional aids in studying sedimentary formations“by M.S. Shvetsov.– Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 25/3, 229–234.

TIŠLJAR, J. (1994): Sedimentne stijene.– Školska knjiga, Zagreb, 433 p.

TIŠLJAR, J., VLAHOVIĆ, I., SREMAC, J., VELIĆ, I., VESELI, V. & STANKOVIĆ, D. (1991): Excursion A – Velebit Mt. Permian-Jurassic.– In: VELIĆ, I. & VLAHOVIĆ, I. (eds.): Some aspects of the shallow water sedimentation of the Adriatic Carbonate Platform (Permain do Eocene). The Second International Symposium of the Adriatic Carbonate platform, Zadar, May 1991, Excursion Guidebook, 1–50, Zagreb.

VLAHOVIĆ, I., TIŠLJAR, J., VELIĆ, I. & MATIČEC, D. (2005): Evolution of the Adriatic Carbonate Platform: palaeogeography, main events and depositional dynamics.– Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 220, 333–360. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2005.01.011

VOZÁROVÁ, A., EBNER, F, KOVACS, S., KRAUTNER, H.-G., SZEDEKENYI, T., KRSTIĆ, B., SREMAC, J., ALJINOVIĆ, D., NOVAK, M. & SKABERNE, D. (2009): Late Variscian (Carboniferous to Permian) environments in the Circum Pannonian Region.– Geologica Carpathica, 60/1, 71–104.

VRKLJAN, M., BOROJEVIĆ ŠOŠTARIĆ, S. & TOMAŠIĆ, N. (2018): Optička mineralogija, određivanje minerala polarizacijskim mikroskopom.– RGNF, PMF, Zagreb, 331 p.

WELTJE, G.J. (1994): Provenance and dispersal of sand-sized sediments: reconstruction of dispersal patterns and sources of sand-sized sediments by means of inverse modeling techniques.PhD Thesis, University of Utrecht. Geologica ultraectina, 121 p.

WELTJE, G.J., MEIJER, X.D. & DE BOER, P.L. (1998): Stratigraphic inversion of siliciclastic basin fills: a note on the distinction between supply resulting from tectonic and climatic forcing.– Basin Research, 10, 129–153. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2117.1998.00057.x

WERNER, T., LEWANDOWSKI, M., VLAHOVIĆ, I., VELIĆ, I. & SIDORCZUK, M. (2015): Paleomagnetism and rock magnetism of the Permian redbeds from the Velebit Mt. (Karst Dinarides, Croatia): dating of the early Alpine tectonics in the Western Dinarides by a secondary magnetization.– Tectonophysics, 651–652, 199–215.

WHITNEY, D.L. & EVANS, B.W. (2010): Abbreviations for names of rock-forming minerals.– American Mineralogist, 95, 185–187. doi: 10.2138/am.2010.3371

YARAHMADZAHI, H. & VACHARD, D. (2019): Moscovian-Asselian (Middle Pennsylvanian–Earliest Cisuralian) smaller foraminifers from the Asad-Abad Section (Sanandaj–Sirjan Zone, Central Iran).– Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 49/2, 107–130. doi: 10.2113/gsjfr.49.2.107

URL1: https://www.gbif.org/occurrence/1698325387 (visited September 2022)

URL2: https://paleobiodb.org/classic/basicCollectionSearch?collection_no=36241&is_real_user=1 (visited September 2022)

URL3: https://www.mindat.org/paleo_loc.php?id=83955 (visited September 2022)

URL4: https://www.gbif.org/occurrence/1698445150 (visited September 2022)

URL5: https://www.gbif.org/occurrence/1698325462 (visited November 2023)