Benthic foraminiferal paleoenvironmental reconstruction from the Upper Coniacian-Lower Campanian succession in north-western Tunisia
Publication date: January–March 2018
Source: Revue de Micropaléontologie, Volume 61, Issue 1
Author(s): Zaineb Elamri, Sherif Farouk, Dalila Zaghbib-Turki
Quantitative analysis of benthic foraminifera is used to characterize the paleoenvironments of the Upper Coniacian-Lower Campanian succession in the Jbil section of north-western Tunisia. Foraminiferal parameters and benthic foraminiferal assemblages show that the studied section includes four distinct paleoenvironmental phases. From oldest to youngest, these are as follows: (1) an interval with a Praebulimina reussi assemblage with infaunal ratios as high as 96.1%. High abundances of P. reussi, reflecting an increase in organic matter flux to the seafloor (meso-to eutrophic) under oxygenated bottom-water conditions. (2) An interval characterized by a Gavelinella costulata assemblage with mixed infaunal/epifaunal foraminifera with higher Fisher's alpha values (ranging from 4 to 15.2), reflecting mesotrophic conditions in an outer shelf environment. (3) An interval with a Gaudryina laevigata assemblage indicative of a middle to outer shelf environment; there is a considerable increase in infaunal agglutinated foraminifera, as well as a relatively abundant and moderately diversified oxic/suboxic foraminifera. (4) The final interval occurs in the lower Campanian (the Globotruncana ventricosa Zone) and includes a Bolivinoides decoratus assemblage reflecting an outer shelf to upper bathyal environment. It contains a higher planktonic percentage and biodiversity with a slight increase in dysoxic species; the mixed infaunal/epifaunal content (57.6 to 73.3%) reflects mesotrophic conditions. Four well-recognized major sea-level falls are matched by the dual signatures of eustatic sea-level changes. These are coincident with the results of this study, which represent the first documentation of these events in Tunisian faunal and paleoenvironmental changes, at the following boundaries: Coniacian/Santonian, intra-Santonian, Santonian/Campanian, and intra-early Campanian.