Influence of a biohermal belt on the lacustrine sedimentation of the Cañadón Asfalto Formation (Upper Jurassic, Chubut province, Southern Argentina)

Nora Graciela Cabaleri, Claudia Armella


The Upper Jurassic Cañadón Asfalto Formation (Cañadón Asfalto Basin, Patagonia Argentina), consists mainly of carbonate deposits accumulated in hydrologically closed lakes, which were especially sensitive to rainfall changes. The lacustrine carbonate sedimentation also interplayed with volcanic episodes recorded by tuffs and lavas, as observed in different basin sectors. These lakes probably underwent warm, alternating humid-subarid and arid conditions that resulted in spreading and shrinkage cycles of the closed water bodies. In the Cerro Cóndor area, carbonates were deposited as part of a 500 m long and 39 m thick microbial biohermal body that extended over 5,5 km2, overlying a hard basalt substratum. This bioherm ridge acted as a physiographic barrier that controlled the sedimentation in the surrounding lacustrine zones, whose environments ranged from shallow and deep littoral to eulittoral (including microbial patch reefs) and palustrine. A hydrologically isolated portion of the lacustrine basin evolved into a pan lake where widespread carbonateevaporite sequences developed.


Lacustrine Biohermal Belt; Cañadón Asfalto Formation; Upper Jurassic; Argentina.

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