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Cretaceous Research

(1985)

6, 3 1 l-3 15

Mid-Cretaceous Inoceramids from Sergipe, Brazil: a Progress Report

The Cenomanian-Coniacian Cotinguiba Formation of the Sergipe Basin in northeastern Brazil (Figure 1) contains the largest and most diverse assemblage of mid-Cretaceous Inoceramidae (Bivalvia) yet known from the Southern Hemisphere. Preliminary studies of material collected suggest that at least 5 late Cenomanian, 25 Turonian and 29 early Coniacian species and subspecies of this biostratigraphically important family are present in the formation. We present here a status report of a long-term project on the Brazilian inoceramids initiated in 1970 at Uppsala University. The project is currently focused on taxonomic (E.G.K.) and biostratigraphical (E.G.K. & P.B.) studies of the Sergipe inoceramids; in addition, more detailed biostratigraphical work based on bed-by-bed collecting from the Retiro area in Sergipe, and revision of mid-Cretaceous inoceramid material in Brazilian institutions, are being carried out by M. H. R. Hessel as part of a Ph.D. project at Uppsala University. For details of the geology of the Sergipe Basin, with notes on the faunas of the Cotinguiba Formation, the reader is referred to Bengtson (1983). The great majority of the inoceramids of the Sergipe Basin are cosmopolitan taxa that are best known from localities throughout the Euramerican

ergipe-Alagoas

mamu Basin Almada Basin

Figure 1. Continental margin of northeastern Brazil (Nordeste), with Cretaceous sedimentary basins. Location of the Sergipe Basin is indicated by arrow. Abbreviations of state names: MA= MaranhBo, PI = Piaui, CE = Cearh, RN = Rio Grande do Norte, PB = Paraiba, PE = Pernambuco, AL = Alagoas, SE = Sergipe, BA = Bahia. 0195-6671/85/030311+05 $03.00/O :$1985 Academic Press Inc. (London) Limited

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Region of the North Temperate Realm (sensu Kauffman, 1973; 1975), but which are now turning up in various areas of Africa and South America. They are less commonly mixed with typical Tethyan elements of the Caribbean and Indo-Mediterranean provinces. Many of these species range into the Pacific (Kauffman, 1977a). The Sergipe collections also contain some new taxa, including a Sphenoceramus fauna from the early Turonian (Hessel, 1984; in press); this genus was previously known only from Coniacian-Santonian strata in the North Temperate Realm. There is an exceptional succession of the largely endemic inoceramid Sergipia Maury, depicting its evolution into the cosmopolitan latest Turonian-early Coniacian bivalve Didymotis. The Inoceramidae are becoming increasingly important in Cretaceous biostratigraphy; they have many of the evolutionary and biogeographical qualities of ammonites and planktonic foraminifers-the present bases for most global marine biostratigraphical systems. The occurrence of diverse, mainly cosmopolitan inoceramid assemblages, closely associated with ammonites in the Sergipe Basin (Bengtson, 1983), is of considerable biostratigraphical importance. Together, these groups provide a basis for detailed biostratigraphical zonation of the middle Cretaceous in the western South Atlantic. They further allow detailed regional correlation of geological and biological events in northeastern Brazil with those in Euramerica and Africa and, to a lesser extent, in the Pacific. The Brazilian occurrence of these taxa demonstrates the great dispersal potential of inoceramids at the species level. Co-occurring species of inoceramids, representing one or more lineages, are characteristic of most levels in the Cotinguiba Formation. Lineages are defined around groups of derived, closely similar species and subspecies. Thus, principal inoceramids of the upper Cenomanian are the Inoceramus (I.) pictus J. de C. Sowerby and I. (I.) tenuistriatus Nagao & Matsumoto lineages. In the lower Turonian, the Mytiloides mytiloides (Mantell), the M. hercynicus (Petrascheck), and the M. Zatus (Mantell, Sense Hattin, 1962) lineages predominate, co-occurring with largely endemic species of Sergipia. The presence of these inoceramids marks the peak of the global Cenomanian transgression (T6 of Kauffman, 19773) during M. mytiloides Zone time. Both inoceramid and ammonite studies suggest depositional breaks in the mid-Turonian and beginning of the late Turonian in the Sergipe Basin; this is confirmed by the presence of numerous discontinuity surfaces throughout this part of the sequence. This interval of time represents a common level of disconformity and omission in Cretaceous sequences throughout the world. It seems to reflect global eustatic fall (cf. Hancock & Kauffman, 1979, Figure 5) and regression of epicontinental and shelf margin seas (R6 of Kauffmans (1973, 19773) eustatic curve) between global transgressive maxima in the early Turonian (ibid., T6) and early Coniacian (ibid., T7), although there is no conclusive evidence for regression with emergence in Sergipe. The rare occurrence of Mytiloides hercynicus (Petrascheck) and early members of the Inoceramus (I.) cuvieri J. Sowerby lineage suggests that basal middle Turonian strata (sensu Kauffman et al., 1978) are locally present in Sergipe. Common upper Turonian inoceramid groups include the Inoceramus (I.) apicalis Woods lineage, the I. perplexus Whitfield-I. vancouverensis

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(sensu Troger, 1967; non Shumard) lineage, and the Mytiloides striatoconcentricus (Gumbel) lineage. The Turonian-Coniacian boundary beds and the lower Coniacian show the highest diversity of inoceramid bivalves, including members of the M. striatoconcentricus (Gumbel) lineage, the M. dresdensis (Troger) lineage, the M. $egei (Troger) lineage, the M. Zusatiae (Andert) lineage, the I. vancouverensis and I. winkholdioides Andert lineages, the I. rotundatus Fiege lineage, and the Cremnoceramus? waltersdorfensis (Andert) lineage. The bivalve Didymotis is a common associate. Additional species identified from the Cotinguiba Formation are listed by Bengtson (1983, pp. 4447); to this can be added the early Turonian species Sphenoceramus mauryae Hessel and S. alatus Hessel recently described (Hessel, in press). In most cases, the inoceramid material of the Sergipe Basin is well preserved as internal or composite moulds showing sculpture and even muscle insertion areas. Prismatic shell material is mainly preserved in the hinge area (ligamental plate); all aragonite has been lost or altered to calcite, probably early in diagenesis, to allow composite moulds to form during subsequent compaction. Good preservation, abundance of specimens at most stratigraphical levels, and exceptional representation among certain lineages that are poorly known elsewhere in the world are all factors that emphasise the importance of systematic treatment of the Brazilian inoceramid fauna. In particular, much can be learned about the evolutionary history of the Mytiloides fiegei (Troger), Cremnoceramus? waltersdorfensis (Andert), and Sergipiu-Didymotis lineages. All of these are common at many localities, and are presumed to be continuously represented in the stratigraphical sequence of Sergipe; in contrast, disjunct stratigraphical representation characterizes occurrences of these lineages in many other parts of the world. Of the new taxa noted in the Sergipe collections, a few appear to be endemic to the area; most others are known elsewhere, but unfortunately remain undescribed. The inoceramid assemblages have been matched against the current ammonite zonation for the Sergipe Basin based on morphologically distinctive genera (Bengtson, 1983) and placed in stratigraphical order, for the purpose of deriving an inoceramid biostratigraphy and correlating it with the detailed zonation of North America (Kauffman et al., 1978) and other areas. Despite the fact that most of the narrowly distributed zonal inoceramids of the North American upper Cenomanian-lower Coniacian sequence are present in the Sergipe Basin, it is not yet possible to create an equally refined biostratigraphy based on the Brazilian inoceramids. The reason for this lies: (1) in the nature of the outcrops, where small quarries and road cuttings normally expose only up to a few metres of sections; (2) in the difficulty of precisely correlating these exposures due to lack of continuous outcrop, locally variable attitude of the strata, and relative lithological homogeneity of the rocks; and (3) in initial collecting procedures, in which most sections have yielded only a small number of specimens. Quarries, which have the highest biostratigraphical potential, have in many cases yielded large collections of inoceramids; however, since the material was collected chiefly by quarry workers, the relative position in sequence of the specimens is not known. in Sergipe yield an assemblage of Understandably, many quarries

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inoceramids that represent two or more zones in North America. Nevertheless, the assemblage zonation which is being worked out for Sergipe provides a useful biostratigraphical framework for correlation of this important Cretaceous area. A logical next step in the biostratigraphical work will be to refine the existing zonation through the study of successive inoceramid assemblages obtained by careful bed-by-bed collecting of key sections that have been distinguished during the course of the present work. For example, the thick upper Turonian-lowermost Coniacian sequence in Sergipe, without obvious breaks or non-sequences, is a promising object for detailed biostratigraphical studies of the Turonian-Coniacian stage boundary. In comparison with the recently proposed international standard section in Lower Saxony (Wood et al., 1984), the Sergipe sequence has the advantage of yielding both inoceramids and ammonites and is thus a potential reference section for the stage boundary in the South Temperate Realm.

Acknowledgments
The work on the Sergipe inoceramids is part of a research programme (P.B.) financed by the Swedish Natural Science Research Council (NFR). This communication is a contribution to the IGCP project Mid-Cretaceous Events.

References
Bengtson, P. 1983. The Cenomanian-Coniacian of the Sergipe Basin, Brazil. Fossils and Strata 1 map. Hancock, J. M & Kauffman, E. G. 1979. The great transgressions of the Late Cretaceous.j&rnal 12, l-78,

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Wood, C. J., Ernst, G. & Rasemann, G. 1984. The Turonian-Coniacian stage boundary in Lower Saxony (Germany) and adjacent areas: the Salzgitter-Salder Quarry as a proposed international standard section. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark 33 (l-2), 225-238.

Erle G. Kauffman
Department of Geological Sciences University of Colorado Campus Box 250 Boulder, CO 80309 U.S.A.

Peter Bengtson
Paleontologiska museet Box 558 S-751 22 Uppsala Sweden