Stratal, sedimentary and faunal relationships in the Coniacian 3rd-order sequence of the Iberian Basin, Spain

José F. García-Hidalgo, Fernando Barroso-Barcenilla, Javier Gil-Gil, Ricardo Martínez, Jose Maria Pons, Manuel Segura

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The Coniacian 3rd-order sequence in the Iberian Basin is represented by a carbonate ramp-like open platform. The biofacies is mainly dominated by nekto-benthic (such as ammonites) and benthic organisms (such as bivalves, mainly rudists) with scarce solitary corals (hermatypics are absent), showing major differences among the Transgressive System Tract (TST) and Highstand Normal Regression (HNR). During the TST, platform environments were dominated by Pycnodonte, other oysters and molluscs (with only subordinate rudists) and ammonites, which were represented by ornamented platycones (Tissotioides and Prionocycloceras), and by smooth oxycones (Tissotia and Hemitissotia). During the HNR, shallow water depositional areas were occupied by rudist-dominated associations. Storm- and wind-induced currents and waves acting on these associations produced large amounts of loose bioclastic debris that covered outer platform areas. This facies belt graded landwards into protected, lower-energy settings (inner platform, lagoon and littoral environments). Rudist biostromes were preserved in seaward areas of these protected shallow environments of overall moderate to low hydrodynamic gradient, which was punctuated by storms. In this environment and landwards, large areas of marly substrate favoured the presence of gastropods, other bivalves, echinoderms, benthic foraminifera and solitary corals. Because of the input of siliciclastics and, probably, the lack of nutrients in suspension, the establishment of rudist communities was difficult in more landward areas of the lagoon and in tidal environments. This heterozoan carbonate factory was thus controlled by warm-water conditions and high energy levels, which were responsible for high-nutrient contents in suspension. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-283
JournalCretaceous Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012


  • Ammonites
  • Coniacian
  • Depositional sequences
  • Iberian Basin
  • Rudists
  • Spain


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