Sequence stratigraphic significance of sedimentary cycles and shell concentrations in the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous of Kachchh, western India

Franz Theodor Fürsich, Dhirendra K. Pandey

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Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous siliciclastic shallow water sediments of the Kachchh Basin, western India, form strongly asymmetric coarsening-upward cycles, which are interpreted as recording changes in relative sea level (deepening-shallowing cycles). These cycles correspond to depositional sequences, in which deposits of the lowstand systems tract are not present, the sequence boundary coinciding with the transgressive surface. Shell concentrations are found in the transgressive lags at the base of the transgressive systems tract (TST), in the maximum flooding zone (MFZ), and at or close to the top of the highstand systems tract. They belong to six assemblages, five of them dominated by large bivalves such as Seebachia, Herzogina, Gryphaea, Gervillella, Megacucullaea, Pisotrigonia and Indotrigonia, the sixth by the coral Amphiastraea. Three types of shell concentrations can be distinguished that differ from each other in a number of ecological and taphonomic features, such as species diversity, preservation quality, orientation in cross-section, percentage of disarticulation, and degree of biogenic alteration. Characteristic features of concentrations at the base of the TSTs are moderate time-averaging, sorting, a preferred convex-up orientation, and nearly total disarticulation of shells. They are suggestive of an environment in which reworking and local transport were frequent events. Similar features are shown by concentrations near the tops of the HSTs, except that there shells were largely concentrated in lenses and in pavements rather than in beds as in the transgressive lags. Associated sedimentary structures indicate deposition above fair weather wave base in a high-energy environment. Concentrations occurring in the MFZ, in contrast, are autochthonous and highly time-averaged, having accumulated during times of low rates of sedimentation below storm wave base. This is supported by their high preservation quality (comparatively high percentage of articulated shells, shells of infaunal organisms commonly preserved in life position), biogenic alteration being the most important taphonomic agent. The dominant elements of these shell concentrations, i.e. Seebachia, Megacuccullaea, and Indotrigonia in the Upper Jurassic, and Pisotrigonia in the Lower Cretaceous, are endemic to the Ethiopean faunal province and belong to lineages that rapidly evolved during this time period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-309
Number of pages25
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15-04-2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Palaeontology


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