GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 212-6
Presentation Time: 9:20 AM


CHATTOPADHYAY, Devapriya, Department of Earth and Climate Science, IISER Pune, Dr. Homi Bhaba Road, Pashan, Pune, 411008, India and DUTTA, Saurav, Department of Earth Sciences, IISER Kolkata, Mohanpur campus, Mohanpur, 741246; Interuniversity Institute of Marine Sciences of Eilat (IUI), Eilat, 8810302, Israel

Tectonic changes have influenced the evolution of the marine community by changing the land and seaway configuration over time. Two such tectonic events during Oligo-Miocene — the closure of the Tethyan seaway due to development of the Gomphotherium-Landbridge leading to separation of the Arabian Sea from proto-Mediterranean Sea (~19 Ma) and significant uplift of the Tibetan plateau marking the initiation of the monsoon (~16 Ma) — represent a classic case of tectonic shift influencing the regional environment of the tropical Indian subcontinent. We investigated the taxonomic and body size-related response of the shallow marine fauna to this regional change using bivalves from 11 time-constrained shell beds of the Kutch Basin (western India) from three formations — Maniyara Fort (Chattian), Khari Nadi (Aquitanian), and Chhasra (Burdigalian-Langian) representing a time of ~9 Ma (24.4 – 15 Ma).

Our collection of over 2000 individuals represents a total of 15 families and 61 morphospecies. The fossils are predominantly calcitic; the families of aragonitic composition are often preserved as molds indicating a potential adverse effect of diagenesis. However, the taphonomic nature does not vary substantially across shell beds and hence, is less likely to produce a temporal pattern. The five most abundant species, Ostrea latimarginata, Ostrea angulata, Talochlamys articulata, Anomia primaeva, and Placuna lamellata, occur in all the formations. The species composition of the Maniyara Fort formation is substantially different from those of the younger formations implying the possible effect of biogeographic separation. Moreover, the absence of proto-Mediterranean taxa in Oligocene shell beds supports a limited faunal exchange as early as ~24.4Ma (Chattian) ago. We observed a monotonic increase in the overall rarefied species richness and a decrease in evenness from the Maniyara Fort to the Chhasra Formation. However, shelled analyses show a dominantly conservative behavior of diversity and body size without a significant directional trend through time. Although it is difficult to rule out the negative influence of taphonomy on the diversity of the studied fauna, our results demonstrate little or no impact of the Tethyan closure and Himalayan upliftment on the community structure of the Oligo-Miocene marine bivalves of western India.