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Evidence for seagrass meadows and their response to paleoenvironmental changes in the early Eocene (Jafnayn Formation, Wadi Bani Khalid, N Oman)

Abstract : The recognition and understanding of vegetated habitats in the fossil record are of crucial importance in order to investigate paleoecological responses and indirectly infer climate and sea-level changes. However, the low preservation potential of plants and macroalgae hampers a direct identification of these environments in the geological past. Here we present sedimentological and paleontological evidences as tool to identify the presence of different seagrass-vegetated environments in the shallow marine settings of the lower Eocene Jafnayn platform of Oman and their responses to paleoenvironmental changes. The studied lower Eocene deposits consist of well bedded, nodular packstones dominated by encrusting acervulinid and alveolinid foraminifera passing upward to an alternance of packstones with echinoids and quartz grains and grainstones rich in Orbitolites, smaller miliolid foraminifera and quartz grains. The presence of seagrass is inferred by the occurrence of encrusting acervulinids and soritid Orbitolites, as well as by their test morphologies together with further sedimentological criteria. The clear shift observed in the faunal assemblages and sedimentary features may be related to a major reorganization of the carbonates system passing from a carbonate platform to a ramp-like platform with increased terrigenous sedimentation. Heterotroph tubular acervulinids and oligotroph alveolinids of the carbonate platform were replaced upward by more heterotroph organisms such as large, discoidal Orbitolites and smaller miliolids, most likely due to enhanced nutrient levels which would have led to a change of phytal substrate, from cylindrical-leaf dominated grasses into flat-leafed ones.
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https://hal-mnhn.archives-ouvertes.fr/mnhn-02667984
Contributor : Christine Perrin <>
Submitted on : Sunday, May 31, 2020 - 11:50:44 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 2, 2020 - 3:25:49 AM

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Sara Tomás, Gianluca Frijia, Esther Bömelburg, Jessica Zamagni, Christine Perrin, et al.. Evidence for seagrass meadows and their response to paleoenvironmental changes in the early Eocene (Jafnayn Formation, Wadi Bani Khalid, N Oman). Sedimentary Geology, Elsevier, 2016, 341, pp.189-202. ⟨10.1016/j.sedgeo.2016.05.016⟩. ⟨mnhn-02667984⟩

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