Geology

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Mateus, O. (2016).  Late Jurassic of Morrison Formation and Portugal tetrapods compared: a model to explain faunal exchange and similarity. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. 185., Salt Late City: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2016 Abstractmateus_2016_late_jurassic_morrison_svp_abstract.pdf

The precursor of the North Atlantic existed between the North American and Iberian blocks from the earliest Jurassic Hettangian and has been ever expanding since. By the Kimmeridgian and Tithonian, when much of the Morrison Fm rocks were deposited, the proto-Atlantic was more than 300 km wide at 27° paleolatitude between North America and Iberia. Macrovertebrate paleontology reveals a unique story to the isolation of Iberia and instead suggest a paleogeographic land connection between North American and Iberia. Torvosaurus, Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Stegosaurus, Supersaurus and others have a distribution restricted to Morrison Formation in North America and Lourinhã Formation in Portugal. A novel paleogeographic model is here suggested: (1) around the Middle–Late Jurassic transition there is a major palaeoceanographic and palaeoclimatic reorganization, coincidental to a major eustatic sea-level drop and uplift associated with the Callovian– Oxfordian Atlantic Regressive Event; (2) creating an ephemeral land bridge presenting a temporary opportunity for terrestrial gateways likely across the Flemish Cap and Galician Bank land masses, allowing large dinosaurian taxa to cross the northern proto-Atlantic in both directions; (3) finally, a Callovian–Oxfordian faunal exchange around the 163 Ma, through latest Kimmeridgian at 152 Ma (the age of equivalent genera in both Morrison and Portugal), is was an interval that allowed speciation, but retaining generic similarity of vertebrates. This model is consistent with the chronology and taxonomy required for speciation of the Iberian and American forms, exemplified by the coeval sister-taxa pairs Torvosaurus tanneri and T. gurneyi, Allosaurus fragilis and A. europaeus, or Supersaurus vivianae and S. lourinhanensis. While some of the smaller animals in the fauna show Morrison/Portugal affinities, most from Iberia have European or even Asian affinities. The larger-bodied fauna are more closely related to Morrison than to mainland Europe (except for dacentrurine stegosaurs). The body size differences and affinities of taxa across paleogeography is comparable to what is observed today across the Wallace Line. Migration may have also occurred in both directions. The closest relative of Torvosaurus is likely the European Bathonian Megalosaurus, thus the presence of the genus in North America represents a European migration. On other hand, Allosaurus and Supersaurus origins are consistent with a North American origin, representing an westto-east migration.

Strganac, C., Jacobs L. L., Polcyn M. J., Ferguson K. M., Mateus O., Gonçalves O. A., Morais M. - L., & da Silva Tavares T. (2015).  Stable oxygen isotope chemostratigraphy and paleotemperature regime of mosasaurs at Bentiaba, Angola. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences. FirstView, 1–7., 2 Abstractstrganac_etal2015_stable_oxigen_isotopes.pdfWebsite

ABSTRACT Stable oxygen isotope values of inoceramid marine bivalve shells recovered from Bentiaba, Angola, are utilised as a proxy for paleotemperatures during the Late Cretaceous development of the African margin of the South Atlantic Ocean. The δ18O values derived from inoceramids show a long-term increase from –3.2‰ in the Late Turonian to values between –0.8 and –1.8‰ in the Late Campanian. Assuming a constant oceanic δ18O value, an ∼2‰ increase may reflect cooling of the shallow marine environment at Bentiaba by approximately 10°. Bentiaba values are offset by about +1‰ from published records for bathyal Inoceramus at Walvis Ridge. This offset in δ18O values suggests a temperature difference of ∼5° between coastal and deeper water offshore Angola. Cooler temperatures implied by the δ18O curve at Bentiaba coincide with the stratigraphic distribution of diverse marine amniotes, including mosasaurs, at Bentiaba.

Strganac, C., Salminen J., Jacobs L. L., Ferguson K. M., Polcyn M. J., Mateus O., Schulp A. S., Morais M. L., Tavares T. S., & Gonçalves A. O. (2014).  Carbon isotope stratigraphy and 40Ar/39Ar age of the Cretaceous South Atlantic coast, Namibe Basin, Angola. Journal of African Earth Sciences. onine, 1-11. Abstractstrganac_et_al_2014_carbon_isotope_stratigraphy_magnetostratigraphy_and_40ar_39ar_age_of.pdfWebsite

We present the δ13C and paleomagnetic stratigraphy for marine strata at the coast of southern Angola, anchored by an intercalated basalt with a whole rock 40Ar/39Ar radiometric age of 84.6 ± 1.5 Ma, being consistent with both invertebrate and vertebrate biostratigraphy. This is the first African stable carbon isotope record correlated to significant events in the global carbon cycle spanning the Late Cenomanian to Early Maastrichtian. A positive ∼ 3‰ excursion seen in bivalve shells below the basalt indicates the Cenomanian-Turonian Boundary Event at 93.9 Ma, during Oceanic Anoxic Event 2. Additional excursions above the basalt are correlated to patterns globally, including a negative ∼ 3‰ excursion near the top of the section interpreted as part of the Campanian-Maastrichtian Boundary Events. The age of the basalt ties the studied Bentiaba section to a pulse of Late Cretaceous magmatic activity around the South Atlantic and significant tectonic activity, including rotation, of the African continent.

Mateus, O., & Marzola M. (2014).  Dinosaur taphonomy in the Lourinhã Formation (Late Jurassic, Portugal). 7th International Meeting on Taphonomy and Fossilization, Taphos 2014. 60-61., Ferrara, Italymateus__marzola_2014_lourinha_taphonomy_ferrara_taphonomy_meeting_2014.pdf
Salminen, J., Dinis J., & Mateus O. (2014).  Preliminary Magnetostratigraphy for the Jurassic–Cretaceous Transition in Porto da Calada, Portugal. (Rogério Rocha, João Pais, José Carlos Kullberg, Stanley Finney, Ed.).STRATI 2013 First International Congress on Stratigraphy At the Cutting Edge of Stratigraphy. 873-877., Heidelberg New York Dordrecht London: Springer Abstractsalminen_et_al_2014_porto_da_calada_stratigraphy_jk_boundary_in_rocha_et_al_strati_.pdf

We present a stratigraphic log supporting a preliminary magnetostratigraphy of a Tithonian–Berriasian section in Porto da Calada (Portugal). Based on biostratigraphy and reversed and normal magnetostratigraphy, the location of the Tithonian–Berriasian boundary is tentatively located at ca. 52 m, not in disagreement
with former proposals. Due to the occurrence of later remagnetization (diagenesis), the magnetostratigraphic definition of the Tithonian–Berriasian section at the Cabo Espichel (Portugal) location was not able to be established.

Salminen, J., Dinis J., & Mateus O. (2013).  Preliminary magnetostratigraphy for Jurassic/Cretaceous transition in Porto da Calada, Portugal. In: Veikkolainen, T., Suhonen, K., Näränen, J., Kauristie, K., and Kaasalainen, S. (eds.). XXVI Geofysiikan päivät,. 119-122., May 21-22 2013 in Helsinkisalminen.johanna_gfp2013_portugal_preliminary_magnetostratigraphy_for_jurassic_cretaceous_transition_in.pdf
Kullberg, J. C., Rocha R. B., Soares A. F., Rey J., Terrinha P., Azerêdo A. C., Callapez P., Duarte, L.V., Kullberg M. C., Martins L., Miranda J. R., Alves C., Mata J., Madeira J., Mateus O., Moreira M., & Nogueira C. R. (2013).  A Bacia Lusitaniana: Estratigrafia, Paleogeografia e Tectónica. (Dias, R. Araújo, A, Terrinha, P. and Kullberg, J. C., Ed.).Geologia de Portugal no contexto da Ibéria. Volume II. 195-350., Lisboa: Escolar Editorakullberg_et_al_2013_a_bacia_lusitaniana.pdf
Myers, T. S., Tabor N. J., Jacobs L. L., & Mateus O. (2012).  Palaeoclimate of the Late Jurassic of Portugal: Comparison with the Western United States. Sedimentology. 59(6), 1695–1717., 2012//01/ Abstractmyers_et_al_2012_palaeoclimate_of_the_late_jurassic_of_portugal_comparison_with_the_western.pdfWebsite

Investigation of the palaeoclimatic conditions associated with Upper Jurassic strata in Portugal and comparison with published palaeoclimate reconstructions of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation in western North America provide important insights into the conditions that allowed two of the richest terrestrial faunas of this period to flourish. Geochemical analyses and observations of palaeosol morphology in the informally named Upper Jurassic Lourinhã formation of western Portugal indicate warm and wet palaeoclimatic conditions with strongly seasonal precipitation patterns. Palaeosol profiles are dominated by carbonate accumulations and abundant shrink-swell (vertic) features that are both indicative of seasonal variation in moisture availability. The δ18OSMOW and δDSMOW values of phyllosilicates sampled from palaeosol profiles range from +22·4‰ to +22·7‰ and −53·0‰ to −37·3‰, respectively. These isotope values correspond to temperatures of formation between 32°C and 39°C ± 3°, with an average of 36°C, which suggest surface temperatures between 27°C and 34°C (average 31°C). On average, these surface temperature estimates are 1°C higher than the highest summer temperatures modelled for Late Jurassic Iberia using general circulation models. Elemental analysis of matrix material from palaeosol B-horizons provides proxy (chemical index of alteration minus potassium) estimates of mean annual precipitation ranging from 766 to 1394 mm/year, with an average of approximately 1100 mm/year. Palaeoclimatic conditions during deposition of the Lourinhã formation are broadly similar to those inferred for the Morrison Formation, except somewhat wetter. Seasonal variation in moisture availability does not seem to have negatively impacted the ability of these environments to support rich and relatively abundant faunas. The similar climate between these two Late Jurassic terrestrial ecosystems is probably one of the factors which explains the similarity of their vertebrate faunas.

Myers, T. S., Tabor N. J., Jacobs L. L., & Mateus O. (2012).  Estimating soil pCO2 using paleosol carbonates: implications for the relationship between primary productivity and faunal richness in ancient terrestrial ecosystems. Paleobiology. 38(4), 585–604. Abstractmyers_et_al_2012_estimating_soil_paleosols_portugal.pdf

In this paper we present a method for estimating soil pCO2 in ancient environments using the measured carbon-isotope values of pedogenic carbonates and plant-derived organic matter. The validity of soil pCO2 estimates proves to be highly dependent on the organic δ13C values used in the calculations. Organic matter should be sourced from the same paleosol profiles as sampled carbonates to yield the most reliable estimates of soil pCO2. In order to demonstrate the potential use of soil pCO2 estimates in paleoecological and paleoenvironmental studies, we compare samples from three Upper Jurassic localities. Soil pCO2 estimates, interpreted as a qualitative indicator of primary paleoproductivity, are used to rank the Late Jurassic terrestrial environments represented by the Morrison Formation in western North America, the informally named Lourinhã formation in Western Europe, and the Stanleyville Group in Central Africa. Because modern terrestrial environments show a positive correlation between primary productivity and faunal richness, a similar relationship is expected in ancient ecosystems. When the relative paleoproductivity levels inferred for each study area are compared with estimates of dinosaur generic richness, a positive correlation emerges. Both the Morrison and Lourinhã formations have high inferred productivity levels and high estimated faunal richness. In contrast, the Stanleyville Group appears to have had low primary productivity and low faunal richness. Paleoclimatic data available for each study area indicate that both productivity and faunal richness are positively linked to water availability, as observed in modern terrestrial ecosystems.