G e o l o g i c a A c t a , Vo l .

3 , N º 2 , 2 0 0 5 , 1 1 9 - 1 3 2
Av a i l a b l e o n l i n e a t w w w. g e o l o g i c a - a c t a . c o m

High frequency subtidal-peritidal cycles of the Callovian Calabozo
Formation (Neuquén Basin, Western Argentina): Preliminary approach

1 2 3 1

1 Departamento de Ciencias Geológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Pabellón II
1428 Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Palma E-mail: palma@gl.fcen.uba.ar Piethé E-mail: rpiethe@yahoo.com.ar

2 UBA-CONICET. Departamento de Ciencias Geológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales
Pabellón II, Ciudad Universitaria. 1428 Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina. E-mail: galof@gl.fcen.uba.ar

3 Université Ibn Tofail, Faculté des Sciences, Department de Geologie
BP. 133, Kénitra, Morocco. E-mail: mehdimina@hotmail.com

The Calabozo Formation (Cuyo Mesosequence, Neuquén Basin) is made up by a thin, up to 30-m thick Middle Jurassic
carbonate-dominated sequence. The minor, thin siliciclastic facies in this formation (i.e. lowermost granule-pebble
shoreface conglomerate and fine-grained sandstones interbedded among the lower carbonates) record early transgressive
shoreline and shallow lagoonal-subtidal sedimentation, respectively. The major carbonate deposits have been split into
six facies and seven microfacies on the base of macroscopic field observation and petrological analysis. The carbonate
facies have been grouped into three major assemblages: 1) Tidal flat facies assemblage (including the planar laminated
algal boundstone facies; 2) Inner platform facies assemblage (including peloidal and bioclastic wackestone, coral float-
stone and bioclastic and intraclastic packstone facies; and 3) Platform margin assemblage (including oolitic-peloidal
packstone-grainstone facies). A fossil algal record made up by dasycladacean species (Salpingoporella annulata, Cylin-
droporella sp. and Heteroporella sp.) and blue-green algae (Cayeuxia (Rivularia) piae, and Cayeuxia (Rivularia) kurdis-
tanensis) has been reported for the first time in this unit. The analysis of the intracycle facies and microfacies arrange-
ments, as well as the nature of the cycle bounding surfaces, enabled one to identify two kinds of cycles. 1) Widespread
subtidal cycles capped by shallow to intermediate subtidal facies, with no evidence of subaerial exposure at cycle tops;
and 2) a minor subtidal cycle with similar shallowing-upward trend but capped by peritidal facies. The stacking pattern
and thickness trend of these cycles was studied to determine possible allocyclic and autocyclic controls on their evolu-
tion. The Fischer plots reveal that the deposition of the Calabozo Formation subtidal-peritidal cycles took place under
upward decreasing accommodation space conditions which may be related to eustatic lowering.
KEYWORDS Subtidal-Peritidal Cyclicity. Carbonate facies and microfacies. Jurassic.

INTRODUCTION basin (e.g. Legarreta and Gulisano, 1989; Legarreta et al.,
1993). However, little research has been focused on the
Much work has been carried out providing the region- lithofacies, microfacies and stacking patterns of the car-
al framework and general stratigraphy of the Neuquén bonate units deposited in this basin. The up to 30-m thick

© UB-ICTJA 119

which were influenced large- ble mechanisms that forced the deposition of the observed ly by eustatic events (Legarreta et al.. 1979) regional discontinuities and includes alluvial- In west central Argentina. 1984a. Figueroa.. but also some of the synorogenic (Lajas Formation) and carbonate dominated deposits FIGURE 1 Location maps and geological sketch of the studied area. This is a back-arc basin shelf black mudstones (Tres Esquinas Formation). and also with the inter.. Fig. deposits are overlain by fluvial-marine siliciclastics mal sag deposition. processes related to the Andean fold and thrust belt sists of a variety of carbonate facies bearing a deal of upbuilding (Legarreta and Gulisano. 2000a). 1995).M. G e o l o g i c a A c t a .. 1989. The sedimentary infill of the Neuquén Basin can be cies of the Calabozo Formation. N º 2 . PALMA et al. split into several mesosequences on the basis of regional pretation of its environmental evolution and of the possi. 1 1 9 . an at least 7 km thick Upper fan clastic deposits (El Freno Formation). 1984b) and intra-Callovian (Dellapé et al. Province. cilastic content (Palma et al.R.. Subtidal-peritidal cycles in Callovian Calabozo Fm. This paper deals with the description of the carbonate facies and microfa. 3 . marine inner Triassic – Lower Tertiary sedimentary succession fills up shelf deposits (Puesto Araya Formation). These whose sedimentary infill not only records rifting and ther. This mesosequence is bounded by intra-Liassic GEOLOGICAL SETTING (Gulisano et al. In Mendoza shallowing-upward subtidal-peritidal cycles.1 3 2 120 .. 2 0 0 5 . the Cuyo Mesosequence is equivalent to the so- called Cuyo Cycle or “Cuyano” (Gulisano et al. Argentina) con. Manceda and marine fauna and flora and associated with a variable sili. Neuquén Basin Calabozo Formation (Neuquén Basin. stratigraphic discontinuities. 2). Vo l . Stars indicate the location of the sections analyzed. 1). 1993). and offshore the Neuquén Basin (Fig.

2000a). erate.. cal- content. close to irregular. Choffatia sp. 3 . foraminifers. 2000a). and bryozoa also components was carefully made. Field differentiation of skeletal and non-skeletal cispheres. firmed by petrographic work. overlying evaporites of the Tábanos Formation is sharp. 1964) were made on the basis of the data base obtained SILICICLASTIC FACIES.. The Calabozo Formation base is ero- tion.. allowing the qualitative determination of the ening-upward cycles interpreted as shallowing-upward recorded allochems. fining. 2000. The biostratigraphic dating of the Calabozo Formation is based on the ammonite fauna represented by Rehmannia sp. but a similar trend in facies evolution has been rec.. 2000). Terrigenous silicilastic grains tematically from the base. Samples were taken sys. two outcrop floatstones.. Calabozo Formation on the basis of texture. sional on the underlying Lajas Formation and normally ognized in the nearby Plomo Creek succession. The stratigraphic succession of this cycle ends with the evaporite deposits of the Tábanos Formation that developed mainly in the center of the basin and records a strong restriction of the Neuquen basin coeval with a global sea-level fall (Riccardi et al.80 G e o l o g i c a A c t a . 1 to 3A) consists This facies consists of light olive gray granule-pebble mainly of shallow water carbonate platform deposits (Pal. Fischer plots (Fischer. Figs. The field survey was carried out at with the wackestone/packstones close to the base of the a centimetre scale using a 20 x hand lens to obtain an ade. they were used as a pre. in Basin (Modified from Legarreta and Gulisano. FIGURE 2 Stratigraphic chart for the Cuyano Cycle in the Neuquén The study area is located 50 km west of Malargüe. The Calabozo For- mation unconformably overlies the Bathonian – Callovian fluvial-marine sandstones of the Lajas Formation and is in turn overlain by the evaporites of the Tábanos Forma- tion (Fig. Western Argentina. Subtidal-peritidal cycles in Callovian Calabozo Fm. 1). which are wherever it appeared necessary. 1 1 9 . southern Mendoza Province. Fig. N º 2 . Although the PRETATION section was too short to make statistically significant Fis- cher plots (Sadler et al. An abundant marine biota occurs in this unit includ- quate data set. ENVIRONMENTAL INTER- from the section studied (Calabozo Creek). 1993). grained conglomerate. Recognition of field facies was con. facies associations.. 2000). Bed thickness ranges between 0. Vo l . ma et al. 3B and C).. corals. PALMA et al. GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CALABOZO FORMATION Conglomerate beach facies The Calabozo Formation (Figs. the type section of the Calabozo Forma. The predominant lithologies in the Calabozo Forma- METHODOLOGY tion are dark-gray medium-to thick-bedded peloidal to bioclastic wackestones to packstones interbedded with In order to document changes during the evolution of minor oolitic-bioclastic grainstone/packstones and coral the Calabozo Formation carbonate platform.1 3 2 121 . 2). unit. middle and top of each bed and occur sporadically in the carbonate facies. five kilometers to the south of Cal. scattered sponge spicules. 2 0 0 5 ...M. starting with a granule-pebble grained conglom- Chuquichenque mine. 3A). sedimentary structures and fossil content (Table 1. 1989). paying particular attention to thickness.or coars- studied. The contact of the Calabozo Formation with the abozo Creek (Fig.R. which allowed the recogni- tion of seven microfacies types. echinoderms. cycles (Palma et al. Two siliciclastic facies (beach conglomerate and lagoon liminary step to detect possible changes in depositional to shallow subtidal sandstone facies) were identified in the conditions. The detailed facies and microfacies studies were carried out in Calabozo Creek. Some sandstone beds appear interbedded sections were studied. stacking patterns and paleontological green algae (dasycladacean) and cyanophite remains.. and Glossouvira sp. Neuquén Basin (Calabozo Formation). which characterize the Lower-Middle Callovian (Riccardi et al. ing mainly bivalves. occur (Palma et al. The Cuyo Cycle includes the first Mesozoic marine strata recorded in the Neuquén Basin. Sixty thin sections were organized into decimetre-to meter-scale.

Neuquén Basin and 1.10 m. tions reveal that the basal conglomerate overlies the FIGURE 3 A) Simplified lithological log of the Calabozo Formation showing the textural evolution. Subtidal-peritidal cycles in Callovian Calabozo Fm. Field observa- taining bivalves and scleractinian corals.M. C) Peritidal cycle. and typically comprises a mixture of sub.R. 2 0 0 5 . B) Subtidal cycle. This conglomer. fossil contents and stacking patterns of platform cycles and the common cycles in the study section. Vo l . 1 1 9 . crete normal grading was observed locally. N º 2 .1 3 2 122 . although dis- grains. 3 . PALMA et al. quartz obscure or lacking internal stratification.. ate displays erosive base and lenticular geometry and rounded volcaniclastic pebbles (5 cm diameter). G e o l o g i c a A c t a . and re-worked Lajas Formation fragments con.

1968). Algal boundstone The predominance of mud-supported textures as well This microfacies is characterized by smooth and crin. Vo l . These deposits echinoderms and mollusc fragments) show microboring occur on the top of a complete subtidal cycle. with a The planar fenestrae are thought to form either by the thickness of just around 40 cm and a lateral extension of a decay of algal films or by shrinkage of sediments due to few tens of meters. lagoonal to shallow sub- tidal environments in an inner platform setting. 3 . with heterogeneous texture.flat (intertidal-lower supratidal) facies C and D) are recognized. Beside molluscs. 4B). green the upper part of tidal-flat (Shinn.. These fine-grained sand. they present conditions prevailing on the subtidal sea floor. rigenous wackestones. Microfacies A. 4C). its bed thickness ranges from 20 to 35 cm. conglomerate records a beach face environment related to a Stromatolitic lamination becomes increasingly undulate marine transgressive succession. containing peloids. N º 2 . trae). In recent well sorted. and are poorly to moderately periods of emergence and subaerial exposure. contribution from the underlying Lajas Formation. Trapping and binding of fine grained carbonate parti- Lagoon to shallow subtidal sandstone facies cles by cyanobacteria generate the wavy and flat laminat- ed stromatolite boundstone in the upper intertidal zone. Peloids are G e o l o g i c a A c t a . 1968). 2 0 0 5 . This is one of the most widespread facies in the Cal- dering their distinctive paleoenvironmental significance.M. ded with the carbonate facies (wackestone/packstones) in Micro-tepee structures and mud cracks suggest repeated the lower part of the unit. as the faunal association suggests deposition in a shallow kled millimetre thick laminae. medium . Most skeletal carbonate grains are observed. Beds are 50-90 cm Inner Platform and Platform Margin assemblages. 1 1 9 . abozo Creek section and includes interbedded medium these deposits were grouped into three main interpretative gray. This facies is medium to light gray in color and affected by intensive micritization and some of them (e. Disarticulated bivalve shells and echinoderms are ostracode bearing laminated to undulatory stromatolite the most abundant bioclasts (Fig. 2) Coral floatstones. Consi. echinoderms and sedimentary environments they most commonly occur in coral fragments. Micrite-sparite laminae are irregular ments. Subtidal-peritidal cycles in Callovian Calabozo Fm. which are generally aligned parallel to stratification stone facies that yielded fossil marine biota. This facies medium grained skeletal fragments and silt-size peloids includes a single algal boundstone microfacies. On the basis of allochem types and particle size. 3) Bioclastic- RONMENTAL INTERPRETATION peloidal-oolitic-intraclastic packstones. as well as microsparite laminae. A broad spectrum of facies and depositional textures occur in this environmental setting. whereas allochem particles reflect micro-tepee structures (Fig. (in particular miliolids and rotalids). This microfacies also includes a matrix of fine-to- top of the Calabozo sedimentary succession. 4A). Inner platform facies assemblage stones were deposited in marine. The peloidal wackestone.1 3 2 123 . oysters. assemblage Microfacies B. gastropods and the presence of disarticulated but not abraded skeletal ele- scattered ostracods. Fen. Six carbonate facies and seven related microfacies were Bioclastic peloidal-terrigenous wackestone facies defined in the Calabozo Formation on the basis of texture. This microfacies is organic- matter rich and shows scattered pyrite crystals. The inner platform sediments are characterized by: 1) Bioclastic-peloidal-ter- CARBONATE FACIES AND MICROFACIES. three microfacies (B. ENVI. This basal (Fig. Lamination is disturbed by mollusc borings. In its turn the abundant irregular-spar and micrite-filled voids (fenes- conglomerate is overlain abruptly by the wackestone-pack. Laminae are frequently discontinuous. Clast composition indi. towards the top of the facies and displays development of cates a volcanic source. and the high matrix content reflect the low energy and exhibit centimetric lateral continuity. Neuquén Basin shoreface deposits of the Lajas Formation. Thalassinoides- type burrows are widespread. Tidal. tic-peloidal-intraclastic packstones. just on the holes. algae (dasycladacean) and bryozoa occur. Peloidal-bioclastic wackestone Planar laminated stromatolite boundstone facies This microfacies contains a distinctive open marine The tidal flat assemblage includes gastropod and fauna. This facies is massive to horizontally bedded.R. calcispheres and estrae. PALMA et al.to fine-bedded wackestones and bioclas- facies assemblages: Tidal Flat (intertidal-lower supratidal).g. a few benthonic foraminifera. These sandstone beds occur interbed. alternate periods of wetting and drying (Shinn. Minor foraminifers boundstones. and alternating micrite and subtidal environment. thick and their composition is quite variable. micro-tepee structures and desiccation cracks were sponge spicules occur. sedimentary structures and fossil content (Table 1).

Peloids are deposited during low and intermediate energy conditions. which were re-deposited clastic packstones. 4D). The allochems in this microfacies reflect the alternation of In this microfacies the allochems consist of thin walled. Bioclastic-intraclastic wackestone shallow marine platform landward of the shelf margin shoal. broken and unbroken fragments which were transported by 1986) and foraminifera (Fig. this microfacies was deposited under moderate-energy conditions in the subtidal zone of a Microfacies C. The algal content is repre. Acces. The scattered ooids sug- Flügel. ooids (type 2 of Strasser. All components are included in a peloidal micritic Peloid lime mud. calcispheres and miliolids were matrix where fine-grained bioclasts appear. low to intermediate and episodic high-energy conditions.1 3 2 124 . Neuquén Basin TABLE 1 Facies synthetic chart with interpretation of depositional environment. interpreted as mainly derived from shell fragments and As indicated by the fossil assemblage of echinoderms. bivalves.R.. 3 . some of them display micrite envelopes. 1 1 9 . rounded and well sorted. broken shells of bivalves and echinoderms (Fig. 4E). N º 2 . and they appear both as sory allochems are calcispheres. dated substrate into intraclasts. 1982) showing a strong micritization. currents. sented mainly by the dasyclad Salpingoporella annulata (Fig. 2 0 0 5 . but others consist of peloidal or bio. gest that they were transported into this environment during G e o l o g i c a A c t a . Vo l . Algal specimens are incomplete. Some subangular intraclasts have Scour during intermittent storms broke the weakly consoli- the same composition.M. Bioclasts appear coated (cortoids of together with peloids and bioclasts. forams and algae. Subtidal-peritidal cycles in Callovian Calabozo Fm. PALMA et al. 5A).

Calcispheres are also present. Peloidal-bioclastic wackes- tone rich in bivalve and echinoderm fragments. B) Microfacies A. x20. Intraclasts. 1 1 9 .R. Tidal-flat laminated cycle top. x10. Bioclastic-intraclastic wackestone with broken bivalve shells and echinoderm fragments. N º 2 . Note the intense micritization.1 3 2 125 .. Horizon- tal to vertical desiccation cracks and development of micro-tepee structure. G e o l o g i c a A c t a . Micritic matrix is peloidal. Subtidal-peritidal cycles in Callovian Calabozo Fm. E) Microfacies C. PALMA et al.M. x18. A) Microfacies A. Vo l . x10. 3 . 2 0 0 5 . Coin is 2 cm in diameter. D) Microfacies C. Peloids. C) Microfacies B. micritic ooids and foraminifera. Horizontal to crinkled lamina- ted planar stromatolite showing laminar to irregular fenestrae filled with spar calcite. Neuquén Basin FIGURE 4 Characteristic microfacies in the peritidal and subtidal cycles of the Calabozo Formation.

Neuquén Basin FIGURE 5 Characteristic microfacies in the subtidal cycles of the Calabozo Formation. intraclasts and fragments of cyanobacteria. G e o l o g i c a A c t a .M. peloids. Thin section of peloidal-bioclastic-intraclastic packstone. x20. calcispheres and micritic ooids are also present. Salpingoporella annulata CAROZZI. 3 . E) Microfacies F. Debris of molluscs. and fragment of dissolved bivalve shells. Subtidal-peritidal cycles in Callovian Calabozo Fm. F) Microfacies F. Cylindro- porella annulata CAROZZI (*) and Salpingoporella annulata CAROZZI (arrow).R. Subangular to angular terrigenous grains are characteristics. D) Microfacies E. 1 1 9 . x20. N º 2 . B) Microfacies D. x10. x10. PALMA et al. Strong recrystallized scleractinian coral filled by blocky cement. A) Microfacies C. C) Microfacies D.1 3 2 126 . Longitudinal section of gastropod shell after a strong recrystallization. x20.. x20. Ooids. Rather well sorted bioclastic-peloidal wackestone. Vo l . 2 0 0 5 .

ronment. Microfacies E. The fragmentation of most of the fossils and the poor Similar forms of green dasyclads to those reported from the sorting of the matrix suggests moderate turbulence and Jurassic and Cretaceous of Lebanon and Europe (Basson G e o l o g i c a A c t a . during the deposition of the peloidal wackestones. The original skeletal structure of the coral and mollusc allochems is obscured by synsedimentary Microfacies D. Some aggregate grains This facies consists principally of fragments of corals and intense micritization are observed. 1998). feldspars and volcanic clasts. 5D). echinoderms (plates and spines). Coral packstone Allochems are accumulated in patches and show no abra- sion. close to a patch reef envi- oolite shoal adjacent to this wackestone microfacies. some of them have an irregular composition quite similar to those of the wackestone shape suggesting that they are fragments of micritized facies. gastropods. gastropods (Fig. nevertheless. Bed thickness varies echinoderms and calcispheres are present in the matrix. 1990). The rock is dark-gray and is mas. echino. The intraclasts are generally rounded to subangular and con- sist of reworked peloidal or bioclastic wackestone/pac- Coral floatstone facies kstones or peloidal-bioclastic-oolitic packstones/grainstones and less abundant algal intraclasts. particularly Cylindroporella sp. as well as intraclasts showing a rounded and very well sorted. N º 2 . bivalve shells. Other associated ing of other microfacies in a shallow water environment.00 m. 5F). Micrite envelopes coat the septae and the sclerites are The composition of this microfacies suggests a shallow filled with micrite and peloids (Fig. The peloids are spherical in shape. the facies association suggests a possible reasonably shallow deposition. They are represented by Cayeuxia (Rivu- ness. Neuquén Basin storms. worms or the grains.. Bivalves and echinoid Wave action and bottom currents led to winnowing and agi- fragments lack physical abrasion. 2 0 0 5 . echinoids and Rounded and subangular intraclasts and aggregate grains Cyanophyta. were found. Subtidal-peritidal cycles in Callovian Calabozo Fm. clastic packstone/grainstone beds. Low energy This microfacies is characteristically composed of conditions below fair-weather-wave base predominated micritic ooids. up the internal cavities product of dissolution (Oklavi and respectively) except for a relatively high concentration Amini. (Fig. Some small oncoids and fragments of patch reef allochems (Tucker and Wright.80 – 1. Deposits were generated by erosion and rework- colony diameters are about 8 cm.1 3 2 127 . cladacean algae. Packstone facies are characterized tallized and shows a gradual transition to peloid components. Non-carbonate components are represented by subangular to angular Packstone-grainstone facies fine-grained quartz.30 to 0. either wackestones or packstones. Peloids are well rounded and show good sorting. sub. along with small corals in growth position (scleractinian patch reef). Gryphaea fragments. but the coral and bivalve shell fragments. The spaces among the corals are filled up with Fossil algae are represented by fragments of dasy- mud containing coral fragments.M. 3 . storm erosion of nearby siliciclastic deposits. micritization of others particles suggest a low sedimentation rate. corals are recognized. corals (scleractinians) affected by strong recrystallization.R. derm debris and peloids.40 m in thick. Some scattered subtidal environment influenced by moderately high-energy small domal colonies in life position are recognized. peloids and ter. together with green presence of terrigeneous material is possibly related to algae and Cyanophyta. The conditions. 1 1 9 . Different forms of the blue-green algae Cayeuxia sive to poorly bedded ranging from 0. peloids. diage- netic dissolution of original skeleton microstructures (Pal- This microfacies is quite similar to the peloidal and ma et al. they are tation also resulted in the formation of algal coatings around usually bored by marine organisms (bivalves. This microfacies is interpreted as a subtidal facies Microfacies F: Peloidal-bioclastic-intraclastic packstones based on the presence of the marine biota and the absence of features indicative of emergent conditions. 6A) and Cayeuxia (Rivularia) kurdista- nensis. This microfacies lacks subaerial exposure features. Packstone beds are well bedded. by Microfacies F. gastropods and intraclasts (Fig. Vo l . from 0. and appear immerse in a peloidal matrix which was This microfacies principally consists of fragments of partly washed out in place. 5C). This facies includes bioclastic-peloidal-oolitic-intra- Strongly recrystallized bivalves. oysters and rigenous material. allochems include bivalves.. Matrix appears recrys. together with intraclasts and scattered ooids. Bioclastic-peloidal-terrigeneous wackestone destruction of corals by the action of bioeroders. This facies includes a single microfacies type: laria) piae (Fig. In fact. (15%) of terrigenous material (Fig. probably). The abundance of micritic ooids and the regular sponges. dominated by large recrystallized bivalves. 5B). The interstitial sediments are composed of are interpreted as being deposited in a shallow lagoon. PALMA et al. 2000b) and different internal sediments filling bioclastic wackestones microfacies (microfacies B and C. 5E).

which are cores of these oncoids are small rounded shell frag- lenticular beds and locally cross-bedded. Platform margin facies assemblage Another type of algal remains was also found probably belonging to Heterporella sp. 1 1 9 . echinoderms stone microfacies. The matrix is peloidal and was washed out ized by Microfacies G. intraclasts and large pieces of the thal- lus of Cayeuxia (Rivularia) kurdistanensis (Fig. Cayeuxia (Rivularia) kurdistanensis ELLIOT. Ooids and intraclasts mostly occur G e o l o g i c a A c t a . Most ooids are strong affected by micritization and mixed with intraclasts and peloids. B) Microfacies G. x20. D) Microfacies G.1 3 2 128 . Some of the Oolitic-peloidal packstone-grainstone facies algal specimens are incomplete. x10. multilayered ooids and ooids nes/grainstones with a radial-fibrous fabric. and three types of ooids were distinguished. in some places. Neuquén Basin FIGURE 6 Characteristic microfacies in the subtidal cycles of the Calabozo Formation. 1971) indicate deposition in a warm shallow (plates and spines) and oncoids. (Fig. and Edgell. x20. x20. 2 0 0 5 . A) Microfacies G. intraclasts or fragments of Cayeuxia sp. C) Microfacies G. include micritic ooids. They occur together protected marine environment. They Microfacies G: Oolitic-bioclastic-peloidal packsto. Cayeuxia (Rivularia) piae RECH-FROLLO. but some ooids are wackestone-packstones. The oncoids range in shape from spherical to The platform margin assemblage includes a variety of elongate. 6B). with gastropods. this facies together with the bioclastic-intraclastic packstones form Scattered benthonic foraminifera and ostracods were the upper part of subtidal cycles. 3 .M. Commonly.R. with bed thick. N º 2 . Intraclasts are subround- mainly composed of ooids. Well sorted medium-grained oolitic-bioclastic-peloidal packstone/grainstone.. PALMA et al. Ooids have spherical to elliptical shapes. ments. The nuclei of all of the ooids consist of peloids or skeletal debris. peloids (Fig. The oolitic-peloidal packstone-grainstone beds. Heteroporella sp. Vo l . 6D). ness ranging from 50 to 90 cm. The thicker This microfacies interfingers with peloidal-bioclastic laminae show a concentric fabric. This facies is character. and their diameters vary from 2 to 10 mm. 6C). (arrow). recognized. abundant ed and derived from the interbedded wackestone/pack- fragments of recrystallized bivalves. Subtidal-peritidal cycles in Callovian Calabozo Fm. broken and abraded fragments. Particles are coarse grained and commonly strongly micritized.

shell fragments or small intraclasts. Subtidal-peritidal cycles in Callovian Calabozo Fm. cher plots revealed three distinctive parts in the strati- tidal o supratidal facies. Taking into account the verti- cal evolution of facies and microfacies. concentric laminae of rence of calcareous algae remains and the lack of traces some ooids indicate that they may have been formed in a of subaerial exposure suggest that these peloidal or bio- relatively continuously agitated environment. and 2) cycles with a similar shallowing-upward accommodation space. 1973). are interpreted as resulting from the action of storm cur- Micritization is interpreted to be caused by microbial bor. Analysis of cyclicity Types of cycles Fischer plots (Fischer. show- microfacies. show a relatively high accommodation space where car- bonate productivity was high enough to fill the available Deepening-shallowing successions that never reach space (cf. The arrangement and of the characteristics of the bounding outcrop section was too short to make statistically signifi- surfaces. 1977) gests. which suggests a low energy setting below peloidal or bioclastic wackestone passing upwards wave agitation or a protected area (Wray. 3C). 1993). similar to clastic wackestones and the bioclastic or oolitic pack- modern oolite shoals (Loreau and Purser. 0. 1976). Strasser et al. In fact. suggests a very shallow subtidal environment (Gebelein. PALMA et al. stone-grainstones were deposited in shallow subtidal shelf theless. the presence of ooids with radial-fibrous structure lagoon environments. 3B). 1993). the studied section is arranged into decimeter ing a regressive trend from subtidal lagoonal to tidal-flat to meter-scale shallowing-upward cycles ranging between conditions. 1977). their arrangement Considering the vertical evolution of facies and indicates an inner-carbonate platform environment. two kinds of subtidal cycles have been identi.40 and 1. drawn by cumulative departure from mean cycle thick- cession in the Calabozo Formation consists of incomplete ness against cycle numbers (Sadler et al. Thin intercalations of shell concentration layers The peloids are inferred to have formed due to recrys.70 m in thickness (Fig. despite their environmental The complete subtidal cycle (Type 2) is composed of preference. grainstone facies that lack emersion features. In general. Modern ooid deposits also the intraformational intraclasts of subtidal origin may accumulate at or above wave base. The high degree of sphericity of (Fig. 1977). the origin of (Loreau and Purser. In the Calabozo Formation inner platform. The Fis- subtidal cycles of the first type that never include inter. The presence of micro-oncoids causes overturning (Tucker and Wright. Never. under high-energy reflect reworking by storm action. The dasycladacean algae fragments present in this microfacies are reworked. suggests that they carbonate environments like Bahamas or Persian Gulf derived from another microfacies.R. with peloidal-bioclastic-intraclastic these subtidal cycles are generally made up by peloidal or wackestone (microfacies B and C) and bioclasts-peloidal G e o l o g i c a A c t a . 1 1 9 . The increas- ing abundance of ooids. Palma et al. conditions as shallow shoals in the Bahamas (Hine.. 2000a).1 3 2 129 . Fischer plots were conventionally trend but capped by peritidal facies. in well oxygenated waters. N º 2 . their presence in this are sites of mud and peloid deposition in many modern microfacies as part of intraclasts. at least periodically turbulent environment which and in the Persian Gulf.. but they were used fied: 1) Cycles capped by shallow to intermediate subtidal as a preliminary guide to detect possible changes in facies. 1985). through gradational contacts into bioclastic or oolitic packstone-grainstone lithofacies that are overlain by stro- matolitic limestones with laminar fenestrae and micro- SUBTIDAL AND PERITIDAL CYCLES tepee structures (Fig. Neuquén Basin within microfacies coinciding with an increase in grain bioclastic wackestones that evolve upwards through gra- size.M. 1964) were constructed from On the basis of the intracycle facies and microfacies the major outcrop section studied (Calabozo Creek). 1999). 1990). the suc. There could indicate calm water... The characteristic faunal association. the occur- the ooids and the well developed. where a Type 2 trends (Fig. storm-wave base (Aigner. All fossil remains exhibit micrite rims or abundant dational contacts into bioclastic or oolitic packstone- coating. cant Fischer plots (Sadler et al.. The general succession of intertidal or supratidal facies have been termed “subtidal microfacies within this section characterizes a shallow cycles” by Osleger (1991). 3A). 1973). Only one exception has been graphic section that show different accommodation space recorded on the top of the succession. allochems and intraclasts indicate This microfacies suggests deposition in a high-energy that the depositional environment shallowed upwards shallow-water deposit. However. 3 . Oncoid formation sug. The thickest beds of the lower part of the section ing Tábanos evaporites (Fig. suggesting that deposition took place above the ing activity during sedimentation (Kobluk and Rist. Vo l . 2 0 0 5 . 2. 7) subtidal cycle (which shows subaerial features and repre- sents a break in sedimentation) occurs below the overly. rents. with local erosional base and rapid lateral wedging out tallization of ooids.

These features are related stones (microfacies G). there are no regional evidences of fault-related depositional environments. 1971. Assuming that an allocyclic mechanism were proved. 1985. Allo- cyclic processes would include repeated fault movements (“jerky subsidence” of Cisne. The cur- facies associations (microfacies C. G e o l o g i c a A c t a . 1995). The Fischer plots reflect changes in accommodation An intermediate part of the section shows thinner space driven by relative sea-level changes. suggesting decreasing accommodation space. activity documented during the deposition of the Calabo- zo Formation. if a FIGURE 7 Fischer plot scaled by the thickness of the cycles for similar number of them was recorded basin wide. eustatic sea-level fluctuations would be difficult. and the changes in the platform. out the possibility of a local. The upper part of the section shows an upward the distinction between tectonic “jerky” subsidence and decreasing cycle thickness. 1991). Neuquén Basin packstones (microfacies F). Although these considera- Stacked cycles in shallow-water carbonate platforms tions do not completely exclude the tectonic “jerky” can result from either autocyclic or allocyclic mecha- nisms (Einsele et al. Balog et al. which took place during a thermal decay Factors controlling meter scale cycles episode probably dominated by thermal subsidence (Manceda and Figueroa. Elrick and Read. accommodation space. In this sec. 1991. Diverse mechanisms (autocyclic and allocyclic processes) have been proposed to explain the origin of such fourth to fifth order cycles. the observed lateral continuity of the cycles would also suggest an allocyclic control. See legend in Figure 3.M. 1991). G. are capped by oolitic-peloidal packstone-grain.. autocyclic processes. followed by oolitic-bioclas. 1989. N º 2 . PALMA et al. These characteristics suggests that sedimen. although there are not unambiguous criteria for distinguishing one from another (Goldhammer and Harris.1 3 2 130 . 1991. 1 1 9 . Strasser. These successions indicate shallowing-upward trends. Subtidal-peritidal cycles in Callovian Calabozo Fm.. 1986. Goodwin and Anderson. a relative sea-level change would tation rate on the platform was equivalent to the increase have probably controlled the deposition of the unit. ity was over during Callovian times in the considered This trend suggests an increasing importance of shallower basin area. Moreover. 1989). Autocyclic processes involve progradation of tidal flats or lateral migration of tidal channels (Gins- burg. zo Formation these plots show an upward decrease in tion asymmetrical cycles composed of microfacies B. 2 0 0 5 . The main regional fault-related tectonic activ- features. However. 3 .R. ruling Callovian Calabozo Formation. if the absence of peritidal facies with diagnostic criteria of sediment progradation capping the cycles (recording the reduction of the available space for the “carbonate facto- ry”) were confirmed. and a thinning–upward trend of the bed and F. it would suggest an allocyclic con- trol instead of an autocyclic progradation or lateral migration of the system in a context of homogeneous subsidence.. C cycle thickness. Taking into account the thinning-upwards when carbonate deposition kept pace with sea-level on tendency of the Calabozo succession. exclusive influence of tic-peloidal packstones-grainstones (microfacies G). thickness in the cycles (Fig. Strasser. Pratt and James. The correct interpretation of the cyclicity observed in the Calabozo Formation stacking pattern and its pos- sible controlling factors is debatable due to the areally limited outcrops and the absence of an accurate chronos- tratigraphic control of the cycles. 1997) that are independent from the local depositional environment. from bottom to rently availabel data do not allow us to reach any reliable top) are capped by planar to wavy laminae with exposure conclusion. 7). suggesting an increase of wave to changing sea-level or accommodation (Elrick and activity in response to shoaling. in accommodation space. while variations in the micro. In the Calabo- cycles and an aggradational stacking pattern. Vo l . 1986) and/or eustatic sea- level fluctuations (Koerschner and Read. F. 1991). which represents a period Read.

Berlin.. 1989. 1997. Vo l . In: Merriam. A. 411-433. RiccardI. Berlin. Micropaleontology. Kansas. peloidal-bioclastic. Calcareous algae from the The carbonate facies were deposited in tidal-flat. R. sobre la distribución y el significado de las sedimentitas ronments) were characterized by peloidal-bioclastic Lotenianas.. Read. 1986. The blue green algae Flügel. with Aigner. 1971.. gressive. Elsevi- Callovian carbonate platform of Argentina.. M. Cylin. Carlos Zavala. although the available data do not allow to firmly Financial support for this study has been provided by the Uni- state the controlling factors that have caused the cyclicity versity of Buenos Aires (UBACyT. wackestones. bioclas.F. low dades de Neuquén y Mendoza. Edgell. J. (ed). Duncan Pirrie and reviewers Dr.A. 1985. (microfacies G).G.G. 1964. M. The thickness of these cycles shows a thinning-upward ten- dency that indicates a decrease of accommodation space The absence of a sufficiently accurate chronostrati. 320-322. Read J. 174 pp. Earthquakes recorded stratigraphically on petrological characteristics. 955 pp. Bulletin of American Association subtidal cycles are recognized: a) widespread subtidal of Petroleum Geologists. 1991. Bulletin Geological Survey. N º 2 . Storm depositional systems. Never- theless.. Uliana. Coruh C. combined field and computer modeling study.K. carbonate platforms. Museo La Plata Obra Centenario. intraclastic packstone and coral floatstone (microfacies B Elrick. sis have led to the recognition of seven carbonate micro.W. 661-675. facies related to diverse subenvironments. R. C. 107-149. Tulsa.. events and stratification. 55.. Amsterdam... W. M. Cayeuxia (Rivularia) piae and Cayeuxia (Rivularia) kur. C. Shallow in littoral beach environments. The Bahamas and Bermuda).F. 5.D. 23. In: ments and had not been previously reported from the Walker. 633 pp. D.N. early trans. A. it is considered that a strong tectonic forcing capped by peritidal facies with subaerial exposure traces. Dellapé.. Subtidal-peritidal cycles in Callovian Calabozo Fm. bioclastic-intraclastic wackestone. 340 pp. deposits. in Earth Sciences. 381-388. high-energy subtidal environments devel. Eustatic controls on dence of subaerial exposure. er.. A.. Goldhammer. shallow marine record of orbitally forced cyclicity in a Late Tri- subtidal sandstones occur interbedded in the lower part of assic carbonate platform. tary Research. Springer. 67. 81-105. Basson. These algal assemblages indicate Gebelein. distinguished on the basis of their sedimentological and Cisne. 1982. D.A.Project nº x-131) and CON- of the Calabozo Formation.. E. inner Jurassic and Cretaceous of Lebanon. driven probably by relative sea-level lowering. G. and Heterporella sp. platform and platform margin environments that can be 17(4).F. Open marine subtidal and intertidal deposition in warm shallow protected marine environ. J. which include Salpingoporella annulata.T. T. Lecture Notes minor siliciclastic deposition. 1971.).. Harris. 61. Stromatolite. Springer. Shallow. relative sea-level changes ICET (PIP/2139). droporella sp. 1976.. Berlin.A. A. cycles capped by shallow subtidal facies that show no evi.1 3 2 131 .. coarse-grained siliciclastic facies were deposited Balog. Riccardi and an anonymous reviewer. Con consideraciones energy subtidal subenvironments (innner platform envi. 1 1 9 . 1991. Ricken. 169. Ginsburg.E. P.R. ed. Symposium on Cyclic Fossil algae are represented by some dasycladacean Sedimentation. 2 0 0 5 . (ed. H. Einsele. Dr. 3 . The lowermost. Nature. Cycles and tic-peloidal-terrigenous wackestone . The Lofer cyclothems of the Alpine Tri- assic. 1979. The intertidal. distanensis also occur. Mombrú... Fischer. Landward movement of carbonate On the basis of the intra-cycle facies and microfacies mud: new model for regressive cycles in carbonates arrangement and the cycle bounding surfaces. Microfacies analysis of limestones.R. 1194-1224. OK. was not probable in the considered depositional setting. Detailed petrographic analy. stromatolites (Florida. and b) a minor subtidal cycle the stratigraphy and geometry of the Latemar Buildup G e o l o g i c a A c t a . species. Neuquén Basin mechanism.. Seilacher. ments and discussions with Dr.. The manuscript has been improved by the com- appear like the more probable mechanism. C. Journal of Sedimen- the formation. Finally. Lower Mississippian Wyoming and Montana: a oped in platform margin zones and resulted in the deposi.. Hungary. PALMA et al. M. J. G. two kinds of (abstract). Journal of tion of oolitic-bioclastic-peloidal packstone-grainstones Sedimentary Petrology.S. Cyclic ramp-to-basin carbonate to F). Hass. CONCLUDING REMARKS REFERENCES The Callovian Calabozo Formation was deposited on a shallow-marine carbonate dominated platform. Thin lagoonal. Edad y correlación de la supratidal environments were characterized by deposition Formación Tábanos en Chacay Melehue y otras locali- of planar algal boundstones (microfacies A).... Westermann. Springer.. graphic framework of the observed cycles does not enable one to closely compare their frequencies with those of the Milankovitch-derived mechanism stated for short term ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS sea-level fluctuations during greenhouse periods.M.L.

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