- Iberian Chain (1) (remove)
- The Aptian evolution of the Galve sub-basin (Maestrat Basin; E Iberia) (2010)
- The epeiric mixed carbonate-siliciclastic sedimentary succession of Aptian stage (125-112 Ma) cropping out in the Galve sub-basin (western Maestrat Basin) in the eastern Iberian Chain (E Iberia) was analyzed by multiscale and multidisciplinary approaches. The integrated basin analysis presented in this thesis highlights the interplay between the solid Earth, oceans, atmosphere and life during this time interval, marked by higher CO2 atmospheric concentrations than nowadays and, consequently, by extreme climatic warmth and higher global sea levels. The most noteworthy aspect of this sedimentary succession is that its analysis enables all major ocean-climate changes which occurred during this stage to be tracked, and it therefore constitutes an excellent means of measuring this time slice. The Aptian strata studied can be divided into four large-scale transgressive-regressive sequences, which were calibrated by geomagnetic polarity analysis and ammonoid and rudist biostratigraphic data. These sequences are consistent with the major transgressions and sea level falls recorded in other coeval Tethyan localities, indicating a significant eustatic control of the sedimentary succession, although synrift subsidence was the most important mechanism in providing accommodation. The main oceanographic and climate-driven Tethyan events detected were: 1) An Early Aptian transgressive phase accompanied by the widespread development of Palorbitolina lenticularis beds. 2) The δ13C perturbations related to the OAE1a have been localized in the upper part of the Deshayesites forbesi biozone within a horizon of coral rubble deposits encrusted by Lithocodium aggregatum and Bacinella irregularis, coincident with the probable Early Aptian thermal maximum. These encrusted coral rubble levels with widespread presence of large-sized flattened Palorbitolina lenticularis are interpreted here as records of physical and chemical disturbances linked to the OAE1a. 3) A late Early Aptian long-term progressive cooling trend accompanied by a regressive context marked by the establishment of large carbonate platforms with typical Urgonian biotic associations dominated by rudist bivalves and corals. 4) The maximum of the aforementioned regressive phase, which exposed subaerially the carbonate platform formed during the late Early Aptian. As a result, a broad palaeokarst developed in its proximal setting, whilst forced regressive wedges were deposited basinwards. This late Early Aptian stratigraphic interval constitutes a text-book example of the application of the four-systems-tract sequence stratigraphic methodology to carbonate systems. 5) A late Early to Late Aptian long-term regressive context, which gave rise to the establishment of littoral conditions during the Late Aptian. The installation of more proximal conditions in this area was coupled with significant terrigenous supplies, which were probably linked to regional tectonics and to a progressively changing climate from a semi-arid regime during the Early Aptian, to semi-humid conditions in the Middle-Late Aptian. Consequently, this study represents a well-documented example of the evolution of the Aptian epicontinental seas, and hence constitutes a valuable tool for calibrating analyses of other Aptian epeiric sedimentary successions.