Bland, K. J., Kamp, P. J. J., Pallentin, A., Graafhuis, R., Nelson, C. S., & Caron, V. (2004). The early Pliocene Titiokura Formation: stratigraphy of a thick, mixed carbonate-siliciclastic shelf succession in Hawkes Bay Basin, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics. 47(4), 675-695.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/218
This paper presents a systematic stratigraphic description of the architecture of the early Pliocene Titiokura Formation (emended) in the Te Waka and Maungaharuru Ranges of western Hawke's Bay, and presents a facies, sequence stratigraphic, and paleoenvironmental analysis of the sedimentary succession. The Titiokura Formation is of early Pliocene (Opoitian-Waipipian) age, and unconformably overlies Mokonui Formation, which is a regressive late Miocene and early Pliocene (Kapitean to early Opoitian) succession. In the Te Waka Range and the southern parts of the Maungaharuru Range, the Titiokura Formation comprises a single limestone sheet 20-50 m thick, with calcareous sandstone parts. In the vicinity of Taraponui Trig, and to the northeast, the results of 1:50 000 mapping show that the limestone gradually partitions into five members, which thicken markedly to the northeast to total thicknesses of c. 730 m, and concomitantly become dominated by siliciclastic sandstone. The members (all new) from lower to upper are: Naumai Member, Te Rangi Member, Taraponui Member, Bellbird Bush Member, and Opouahi Member. The lower four members are inferred to each comprise an obliquity-controlled 41 000 yr 6th order sequence, and the Opouahi Member at least two such sequences. The sequences typically have the following architectural elements from bottom to top: disconformable sequence boundary that formed as a transgressive surface of erosion; thin transgressive systems tracts (TSTs) with onlap and backlap shellbeds, or alternatively, a single compound shellbed; downlap surface; and very thick (70-200 m) highstand (HST) and regressive systems tracts (RST) composed of fine sandstone. The sequences in the Opouahi Member have cryptic TSTs, sandy siltstone to silty sandstone HSTs, and cross-bedded, differentially cemented, fine sandstone RSTs; a separate variant is an 11 m thick bioclastic limestone (grainstone and packstone) at the top of the member that crops out in the vicinity of Lake Opouahi. Lithostratigraphic correlations along the crest of the ranges suggest that the Titiokura Formation, and its correlatives to the south around Puketitiri, represent a shoreline-to-shelf linked depositional system. Carbonate production was focused around a rocky seascape as the system onlapped basement in the south, with dispersal and deposition of the comminuted carbonate on an inner shelf to the north, which was devoid of siliciclastic sediment input. The rates of both subsidence and siliciclastic sediment flux increased rapidly to the northeast of the carbonate "platform", with active progradation and offlap of the depositional system into more axial parts of Hawke's Bay Basin.
This article has been published in the New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics. (c) 2004 Royal Society of New Zealand.