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Coastal wetlands as markers of transgression in proximal extensional systems (Berriasian, W Cameros Basin, Spain)

AuthorsMas, José Ramón CSIC ORCID; Arribas, M. Eugenia; González Acebrón, Laura; Quijada, I. E. CSIC ORCID; Campos-Soto, Sonia; Suárez-González, Pablo CSIC ORCID; Sacristán, Sara; Arribas, José CSIC; Benito, M. Isabel CSIC ORCID ; Pérez-Garrido, Carlos; Alonso, Ángela
KeywordsCoastal wetland
Earliest cretaceous transgression
Innermost Iberian Basins
West Cameros sub-Basin
N Spain
Issue DateMar-2019
CitationJournal of Iberian Geology 45(1): 1–27 (2019)
AbstractThe early stages of intraplate extensional systems commonly are recorded by deposition of continental sediments. In this context, given appropriate tectonics and eustasy, transgressions can be well recorded in the areas of the basins located close to the sea, but they may be difficult to recognize in the innermost landwards areas of the system. This situation occurs in the innermost Upper Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Cameros Basin, part of the Iberian Extensional System (N. Spain), where a Berriasian transgression is recorded. The Berriasian succession in this area consists of siliciclastic deposits (sandstone and mudstone) of the Salcedal Formation and of carbonate and mixed carbonate-fine siliciclastic deposits (limestone and marl) of the San Marcos Formation. The sedimentological analysis of this depositional succession indicates that a Berriasian carbonate coastal wetland system occupied that sector of the Cameros Basin during deposition of the San Marcos Formation. This carbonate coastal wetland system consisted of shallow and quiet water bodies including some with marine influence others with no to very little marine influence, and palustrine areas. A semiarid climate characterized by the seasonal alternation of short wet and long dry periods caused water bodies of the system to undergo episodic desiccation and subaerial exposure. Moreover, this complex mosaic of sub-environments was connected laterally with a distal zone of a distributive fluvial system that was rimmed by siliciclastic tidal flats during phases of greater marine influence. The paleogeographic arrangement of this coastal wetland depositional system indicates that the marine influence came from the Basque-Cantabrian Basin to the north. During the period of Berriasian maximum marine influence, accommodation linked to the eustatic rise added to accommodation generated by tectonic subsidence from the extensional reactivation of late Variscan strike-slip faults. All these factors favored marine incursion into the west Cameros Basin from the Basque-Cantabrian Basin to the north. The example of the Berriasian transgression recorded in the W Cameros Basin by establishment of coastal wetland systems matches the interpretations of previous studies in neighboring areas. In those areas, complex coastal systems record transgressions in the innermost parts of the intraplate extensional basins of the Iberian Plate. This observation suggests that this paleogeographic and sedimentological arrangement may be common in the innermost parts of intraplate extensional basins during transgressive episodes throughout the geological record.
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