Sonia Campos-Soto, M. Isabel Benito, Alberto Cobos, Esmeralda Caus, I. Emma Quijada, Pablo Suarez-Gonzalez, RamÃn Mas, Rafael Royo-Torres & Luis AlcalÃ (2019)
Revisiting the age and palaeoenvironments of the Upper JurassicâLower Cretaceous? dinosaur-bearing sedimentary record of eastern Spain: implications for Iberian palaeogeography.
Journal of Iberian Geology (advance online publication)
An integrated stratigraphic, palaeontological, palaeoenvironmental and palaeogeographical study of the traditionally considered Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous dinosaur-bearing sedimentary record (DSR) of eastern Spain is accomplished for the first time. Several areas where dinosaur fossils are abundant (western Maestrazgo and South-Iberian basins) have been studied in detail. In all the areas, the DSR comprises a carbonate-dominated lower part (CLP), and an essentially siliciclastic upper part (SUP). Deposition occurred in a shallow-very shallow marine carbonate platform, laterally connected towards the N and W to coastal and alluvial environments. The overall upwards evolution is regressive with a transgresive episode at the uppermost part. The DSR includes deposits previously assigned, depending on the studied area, from the Kimmeridgian to the Barremian (locally even to the AptianâAlbian). However, ages obtained in this work from larger benthic foraminifera (LBF), demonstrate a Kimmeridgian-Tithonian age (locally Kimmeridgian-Early Berriasian?) for the DSR. These findings have important implications regarding the age of dinosaur fossils of these deposits, traditionally assigned to the Jurassic-Cretaceous transition, or even to the Early Cretaceous, erroneously, and have necessitated a deep litho- and chronostratigraphic revision of the units previously established in the studied areas: new data indicate that the DSR is correlatable with deposits of the Villar del Arzobispo Fm and that the usage of the Aldea de CortÃs and El Collado Fms, traditionally assigned to the Early Cretaceous, should be avoided. New data also reveal that the DSR should be correlated with other Kimmeridgian-Tithonian dinosaur-bearing deposits of Iberia, such as those of the Cameros Basin, Asturias and Portugal, and have encouraged a revision of the Iberian palaeogeography at that time. In fact, ages obtained from LBF agree with data provided by the systematics of dinosaurs, since dinosaur faunas of eastern Spain are similar to those of the other Late Jurassic Iberian areas, especially to those of the Lusitanian Basin.