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The transgressive-regressive cycle of the Romualdo Formation (Araripe Basin): Sedimentary archive of the Early Cretaceous marine ingression in the interior of Northeast Brazil
- Custódio, Michele Andriolli, Quaglio, Fernanda, Warren, Lucas Veríssimo, Simões, Marcello Guimarães, Fürsich, Franz Theodor, Perinotto, José Alexandre J., Assine, Mario Luis
- Sedimentary geology 2017 v.359 pp. 1-15
- basins, Atlantic Ocean, Brazil
- Geologic events related to the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean deeply influenced the sedimentary record of the Araripe Basin. As consequence, upper stratigraphic units of the basin record a marine ingression in northeastern Brazil during the late Aptian. The timing and stratigraphic architecture of these units are crucial to understand the paleogeography of Gondwana and how the proto-Atlantic Ocean reached interior NE Brazil during the early Cretaceous. This marine ingression is recorded in the Araripe Basin as the Romualdo Formation, characterized by a transgressive-regressive cycle bounded by two regional unconformities. In the eastern part of the basin, the Romualdo depositional sequence comprises coastal alluvial and tide-dominated deposits followed by marine transgressive facies characterized by two fossil-rich intervals: a lower interval of black shales with fossil-rich carbonate concretions (Konservat-Lagerstätten) and an upper level with mollusk-dominated shell beds and shelly limestones. Following the marine ingression, an incomplete regressive succession of marginal-marine facies records the return of continental environments to the basin. The stratigraphic framework based on the correlation of several sections defines a transgressive-regressive cycle with depositional dip towards southeast, decreasing in thickness towards northwest, and with source areas located at the northern side of the basin. The facies-cycle wedge-geometry, together with paleocurrent data, indicates a coastal onlap towards NNW. Therefore, contrary to several paleogeographic scenarios previously proposed, the marine ingression would have reached the western parts of the Araripe Basin from the SSE.