Evolution of pelagic swells from hardground analysis (Bathonian-Oxfordian, Eastern External Subbetic, southern Spain)

Nieto, Luis; Reolid, Matías; Molina, José; Ruiz-Ortiz, Pedro; Jiménez-Millán, Juan; Rey, Javier
July 2012
Facies;Jul2012, Vol. 58 Issue 3, p389
Academic Journal
The Middle Bathonian to Middle Oxfordian interval in the Eastern External Subbetic (Betic Cordillera, SE Spain) is characterized by Ammonitico Rosso facies including various stratigraphic breaks. Five hardground-bounded units are recognized in relation to hiatuses in the ammonite record at the following stratigraphic boundaries: Hg1 (Lower-Middle Bathonian), Hg2 (Middle-Upper Bathonian), Hg3 (Lower-Middle Callovian), Hg4 (Middle-Upper Callovian), and Hg5 (Callovian-Oxfordian). Interesting features of these hardgrounds include their microfacies, ferruginous crusts and macro-oncoids, taphonomy of macroinvertebrates, trace fossils, neptunian dykes, and the hiatuses associated with each of them. The main hardgrounds (Hg1, Hg2, and Hg5) contain trace fossils of the Cruziana and Trypanites ichnofacies as well as abundant fossil macroinvertebrates with taphonomic features evidencing corrasion, early diagenesis, and reworking, indicating substrate evolution from softground to hardground. Neptunian dykes affected the trace fossils and ammonoid moulds, and their walls and the hardground surfaces were colonized by ferruginous microbial crusts. These features are characteristic of the External Subbetic pelagic swells, where the absence of sedimentation, sediment bypassing and erosion, and early diagenesis during relative sea-level falls produced hardgrounds. The neptunian dykes are indicative of tectonic activity in the areas of pelagic swells. Ferruginous crusts and macro-oncoids developed only on hardground surfaces and neptunian dykes walls prior to deposition of condensed bioclastic beds, which are interpreted as the first deposits after hardground development and are related to the onset of transgression. The varying ranges of the gaps as well as lateral facies changes are related to different local paleobathymetry controlled by the activity of listric faults.


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