Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

The Bartonian-Priabonian marine record of the eastern South Pyrenean foreland basin (NE Spain): a new calibration of the larger foraminifers and calcareous nannofossil biozonation

E. Costa, M. Garcés, M. López Blanco, J. Serra Kiel, G. Bernaola, Lluís Cabrera, E. Beamud


This study presents a combined biostratigraphic (calcareous nannofossils, larger foraminifers) and magnetostratigraphic study of the Middle and Late Eocene marine units of the Igualada area, eastern Ebro Basin. The studied sections of Santa Maria de Miralles and La Tossa encompass the complete marine succession of the Santa Maria Group, where assemblages rich in larger foraminifers have been studied since the early 1950's. A total of 224 paleomagnetic sites and 62 biostratigraphic samples were collected along a 1350m-thick section that ranges from chron C20n to chron C16n (~43Ma to ~36Ma). The resulting magnetostratigraphy-based chronology challenges existing chronostratigraphic interpretations of these units and results in a new calibration of the biostratigraphic zonations. The base of calcareous nannofossil Zone NP19-20 is pinned down to an older age than its presently accepted attribution, whereas the time span assigned to Zone NP18 is significantly reduced. A revised calibration of larger foraminifers indicates that Zone SBZ18, formerly assigned exclusively to the late Bartonian, extends its range to the earlymost Priabonian, the Bartonian stage being almost entirely represented by Zone SBZ17. A division of Zone SBZ18 into two subzones is proposed.