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Environmental significance of gypsum-bearing layers at the “Lo Hueco” paleontological site (Upper Cretaceous, Cuenca, Spain): petrography, fluid inclusions, and isotopic relations

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González Acebrón, Laura and Barroso Barcenilla, Fernando and Cambra Moo, Oscar and Carenas, Beatriz and Segura, Manuel (2014) Environmental significance of gypsum-bearing layers at the “Lo Hueco” paleontological site (Upper Cretaceous, Cuenca, Spain): petrography, fluid inclusions, and isotopic relations. Facies : Carbonate Sedimentology and Paleoecology, 60 (3). pp. 755-771. ISSN 0172-9179

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Official URL: https://link.springer.com/journal/10347/volumes-and-issues/60-3




Abstract

Lo Hueco” (Cuenca, Spain) is an upper Campanian–lower Maastrichtian Fossil-Lagerstätte that has provided more than 8,500 well-preserved macrofossils, including titanosaur sauropod dinosaurs. Although the facies and fossil record point to both fresh and brackish or marine water influences, a detailed study of the sulphate-bearing layers of the site through petrography, fluid inclusions, and isotopes has been undertaken to evaluate the possible marine influence. The two main sulphate units of the “Lo Hueco” site consist chiefly of bimodal micro- to meso- lenticular gypsum crystals that grew displacively in a clayey-carbonate sediment. The well-preserved lenticular gypsum crystals are primary, as demonstrated by the presence of the original twinning and the absence of hydration textures or anhydrite relicts. Primary fluid inclusions of the lenticular gypsum crystals indicate a vadose environment of formation, with salinities between 1,800 and 14,000 ppm, pointing to a brackish but non-marine environment. Furthermore, gypsum exhibits 87Sr/86Sr values between 0.708034 and 0.708120, which are higher than those from marine evaporites of Campanian–Maastrichtian age, indicating a clear influence of fresh water. Gypsum δ 34S VCDT values (18.1 to 19.0 ± 0.5 ‰) and δ 18OVSMOW values (11.0 to 15.2 ± 0.5 ‰), on the other hand, are typical isotopic values recorded in marine evaporites of this age. This apparent contradiction between fluid inclusion and Sr isotopic data is probably the result of some recycling from Upper Cretaceous evaporites. Based on all these observations, the sulphate-bearing layers are interpreted as probably formed in a near-coastal saline mudflat of a playa lake. As a whole, this study highlights the importance of combining different proxies when dealing with evaporites formed in brackish-water environments.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Campanian–Maastrichtian; Fluid inclusions; ‘‘Lo Hueco’’; Marine influence; Sulphate; Vadose environment
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Stratigraphic geology
Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
ID Code:63683
Deposited On:22 Jan 2021 08:32
Last Modified:25 Jan 2021 08:55

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