2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM

Upper Albian (Lower Cretaceous) Ammonites from the Provincial Formation of Central Cuba: Biostratigraphic and Paleobiogeographic Implications

BARRAGÁN-MANZO, Ricardo, Departamento de Paleontología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Instituto de Geología, Cuidad Universitaria, México, D. F, 04510, Mexico, ROJAS-CONSUEGRA, Reinaldo, Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Obispo 61, Plaza de Armas, Habana Vieja, La Habana, 10100, Cuba and SZIVES, Ottilia, Department of Palaeontology, Hungarian Natural History Museum, P.O.Box 137, Budapest, H-1431, Hungary, ricardor@geologia.unam.mx

Upper Albian (Lower Cretaceous) ammonites from Central Cuba are studied for systematic, biochronostratigraphic, and paleobiogeographic purposes. The fossils of this study were sampled from an exposure of the Provincial Formation within the Villa Clara Province. This formation is a lithostratigraphic unit extensively exposed in central Cuba, and which records sediments of Albian-Cenomanian age within a volcanic arc that flourished during the Cretaceous in the Caribbean Tethys.

The Provincial Formation is mainly composed by normal marine and volcano-sedimentary deposits characterized by a series of micritic limestones with an intercalation of marls, sandstones, calcareous conglomerates, and ash and fused tuffs. The ammonites presented herein were recovered from calcareous biomicrites and marls of an exposed portion of the unit that represents sedimentation during the uppermost Albian times.

A rich assemblage of taxa typical of the top of the Late Albian Stoliczkaia (Stoliczkaia) dispar Zone conforms the studied material. The record of Zelandites dozei, Desmoceras cf. latidorsatum, Stoliczkaia clavigera, Cantabrigites wenoensis and Cantabrigites spinosum together with Algericeras (Algericeras) boghariense boghariense which has been documented only from Lowermost Cenomanian deposits until now, suggests that the age of the studied stratigraphic section is very close to the Albian/Cenomanian boundary. The ammonite fauna shows a strong tethyan affinity, being the typical boreal forms of coeval ages such as the members of the families Hoplitidae and Schloenbachiidae missing.

These index Upper Albian ammonite species were not hitherto recorded for Cuba or for any Caribbean locality. Thus, these records widens their paleobiogeographic significance and allows for precise long distance correlations of standard Albian ammonite zonations between Cuba and other areas of the world.