The "Continental Intercalaire" of southern Tunisia

Stratigraphy, paleontology, and paleoecology

Federico Fanti, Michela Contessi, Fulvio Franchi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    26 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The "Continental Intercalaire" deposits of southern Tunisia preserve one of the most diverse Early Cretaceous vertebrate fauna from Africa, consisting of elasmobranchs, actinopterygians, sarcopterygians, turtles, crocodyliforms, pterosaurs, and non-avian dinosaurs. Vertebrate remains representative of both marine and fluvial environments have been historically referred to a specific bonebed within the Chenini Member, which crops out extensively in the Tataouine region. A stratigraphic revision of the mainly siliciclastic deposits of the Douiret and the Aïn El Guettar formations in the area based on new sedimentological and paleontological data is presented. Data collected indicate the presence of multiple fossil-bearing strata encompassing the stratigraphic interval from the Berriasian to the Albian and document faunal variation through time as well as major environmental and climatic changes. Detailed sedimentological analysis combined with biostratigraphic correlation performed at a basin scale indicate lateral facies variability within each formation as a result of tectonically and climatically driven zonations within the Tataouine Basin in the Early Cretaceous. Furthermore, proposed stratigraphic correlations indicate that vertebrate remains previously referred to the fluvial Chenini Member (and in particular theropod and sauropod dinosaurs) are instead representative of a transgressive deposit which mark the base of the overlying Oum ed Diab Member.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-23
    Number of pages23
    JournalJournal of African Earth Sciences
    Volume73-74
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 21 2012

    Fingerprint

    paleontology
    paleoecology
    vertebrate
    stratigraphy
    dinosaur
    siliciclastic deposit
    Cretaceous
    Berriasian
    stratigraphic correlation
    turtle
    basin
    zonation
    environmental change
    fossil
    fauna
    crop
    climate change

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Geology
    • Earth-Surface Processes

    Cite this

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    The "Continental Intercalaire" of southern Tunisia : Stratigraphy, paleontology, and paleoecology. / Fanti, Federico; Contessi, Michela; Franchi, Fulvio.

    In: Journal of African Earth Sciences, Vol. 73-74, 21.09.2012, p. 1-23.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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