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A reappraisal of the stratigraphy and chronology of Early Pliocene palaeontological sites from Lanzarote Island containing fossil terrestrial animals

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Lomoschitz, Alejandro and Sanchez Marco, Antonio and Huertas Coronel, María José and Betancort, Juan F. and Arnau, Isern and Sanz, Elena and Meco, Joaquín (2016) A reappraisal of the stratigraphy and chronology of Early Pliocene palaeontological sites from Lanzarote Island containing fossil terrestrial animals. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 123 . pp. 338-349. ISSN Issn: 1464-343X ; Essn: 1879-1956

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/journal-of-african-earth-sciences/vol/123/suppl/C




Abstract

The Famara massif, in the north of Lanzarote Island, constitutes the remains of a former island inhabited by the oldest known vertebrate fauna of the Canary archipelago off the coast of Africa. In this study, new ages are offered for the underlying and overlying basaltic lava flows of two paleontological sites. The island's three major palaeontological sites, which contain remains of this ancient fauna (Valle Grande, Valle Chico and Fuente de Gusa), are intercorrelated according to their lithologies, sedimentology, palaeontological content and geochronology. The new K/Ar age interval for the fossiliferous sedimentary deposits ranges between 4.3 ± 0.7 and 3.78 ± 0.71 Ma, within the Early Pliocene, and shows that the first known terrestrial animals in Lanzarote were present on the island for about 500 ka. The principal component of the deposits is a bioclastic calcarenite of aeolian origin (sand sheet deposits), which is present in all three sites and constitutes 65% of the beds. The remaining 35% is of fluvial-aeolian origin (mainly stream deposits). All the beds contain the same fossils (insect egg pods, land snails, avian eggshells and tortoise eggshells). The local palaeogeography and the formation of the deposits were conditioned by a flat plain, larger than 16 km2, over which aeolian sands moved freely with a prevailing NNE-WSW wind direction. In agreement with previous investigations, the palaeoclimate in this interval (ca. 4.3 to 3.8 Ma) must have been mainly dry with some rainy episodes.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Canary Islands ; PlioceneK-Ar ages ; Fossil egg ; Terrestrial fossil fauna ; Oceanic Island
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Stratigraphic geology
Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
ID Code:59164
Deposited On:17 Feb 2020 19:23
Last Modified:18 Feb 2020 08:11

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