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Revisiting the late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous of the NW South Iberian Basin: new ages and sedimentary environments.

1. Introduction

The beginning of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous rifting cycle affected the carbonate platforms that were previously developing throughout eastern Iberia, producing their breakdown and, as a consequence, the arrival to the marine realm of siliciclastic discharges coming from the elevated continental areas (e.g. Aurell et al., 1994; Salas et al., 2001; Mas et al., 2004). As a result, the configuration and depositional patterns of the carbonate platforms changed rapidly, evolving upwards into coastal and continental areas (e.g. Canerot, 1974; Mas et al., 1984, 2004; Diaz and Yebenes et al., 1987; Salas, 1987; Martin-Closas and Serra-Kiel, 1991; Badenas et al., 2004). In the South Iberian Basin, where this study has been performed (Fig. 1), the oncolitic limestone of the Higueruelas Fm, the limestone, sandstone and claystone of the Villar del Arzobispo Fm and the claystone and sandstone of the Aldea de Cortes Fm, represent the earliest depositional stages of the beginning of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous rifting cycle, recording a wide spectrum of mixed siliciclastic and carbonate facies deposited from marine to coastal environments.

This work revisits these units at the Benageber area in Los Serranos region (NW Valencia province), where the Aldea de Cortes Fm was formally defined (Mas, 1981; Vilas et al., 1982), and where detail studies have not been carried out since more than thirty years (Assens et al., 1973; Gomez, 1979; Mas, 1981; Mas and Alonso, 1981; Mas et al., 1984), with the main aim of better understanding the development of the first infilling stages of the South Iberian Basin. The new stratigraphical, sedimentological and paleontological data and interpretations presented here involve important chronostratigraphical, paleoenvironmental and paleogeographical implications for the South Iberian Basin during the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous. Specifically, new data allow: 1) to precisely characterize the limits between the Higueruelas and Villar del Arzobispo Fms, and to question the contact between the Villar del Arzobispo and Aldea de Cortes Fms, previously interpreted as an unconformity (e.g. Mas, 1981; Mas and Alonso, 1981; Mas et al., 1982, 2004; Vilas et al., 1982); 2) to make new paleoenvironmental interpretations for the Villar del Arzobispo and Aldea de Cortes Fms, and to qualify those of the Higueruelas Fm; and 3) to modify and improve the accuracy of the ages of these units based on the study of the larger foraminifera present in the Villar del Arzobispo Fm. In addition, these new findings will be relevant for a more dating accurate of the historical sites with dinosaurs from Benageber (see Royo y Gomez, 1926a; 1926b; 1927; Perez-Garcia et al., 2009) that, taking as reference the locations mentioned in these works, they are included into the Aldea de Cortes Fm in our paper (specifically under the waters of the Turia river in the actual "Embalse de Benageber").

2. Geological setting

The study area is located in the South Iberian Basin (E Spain, Fig. 1), which is one of the basins of the Mesozoic Iberian Rift System (also referred to as the Iberian Basin) formed during the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay and was inverted during the Cenozoic Alpine Orogeny (Salas et al., 2001; Mas et al., 2004). The infill of the South Iberian Basin, which may comprise more than 2000 m of sediments, started in the Tithonian and continued until the Middle Albian (Mas, 1981; Mas and Alonso, 1981; Mas et al., 2004). The South Iberian Basin was surrounded by the Iberian and Valencian Massifs, which were located westwards and northwards of the basin, respectively (Mas et al., 2004). Specifically, the studied deposits crop out in the NW area of the basin, near Benageber town (NW of Valencia province; Fig. 1) and correspond to the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous Higueruelas, Villar del Arzobispo and Aldea de Cortes Fms (Fig. 2A).

The lowermost unit, the Higueruelas Fm, has a wide extension throughout the Mesozoic Iberian Rift System and is an oncolitic carbonate unit (67 m thick in the study area), interpreted as shallow subtidal bars deposited in a mid--to inner-carbonate ramp (e.g. Aurell et al., 1994; Mas et al., 2004). The Villar del Arzobispo Fm lies conformably over the Higueruelas Fm and, in the study area, it comprises up to 110 m of mixed carbonate-clastic deposits previously interpreted as deposited in an inner ramp-lagoon environment, which evolved upwards into a tidal flat system (Mas and Alonso, 1981; Mas et al., 1984; 2004). The uppermost unit, the Aldea de Cortes Fm (Fig. 2A), has traditionally been considered as unconformable over the Villar del Arzobispo Fm (Mas, 1981; Mas and Alonso, 1981; Vilas et al., 1982; Mas et al., 1984; 2004) and, in the study area, it comprises more than 200 m of siliciclastic sediments with minor carbonates, previously interpreted as deposited in lagoons, tidal flats and fluvial deltaic plains (Mas, 1981; Mas and Alonso, 1981; Mas et al., 1982; 2004; Vilas et al., 1982).

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The age of the studied stratigraphic units is controversial due mainly to the scarcity or even lack of ammonoids and other pelagic fossils commonly used for establishing the chronostratigraphic ages in Global Time Scales (see Gradstein et al., 2012 and references therein). However, previous regional works about the studied deposits have used other neritic groups (e.g. larger foraminifera) to assess the age of the units. Thus, the Higueruelas Fm was assigned to the "Middle" Kimmeridgian (Fig. 2B; Gomez, 1979; Gomez and Goy, 1979) or "Middle"-Upper Kimmeridgian (Fig. 2B; Viallard, 1973; Ramirez del Pozo in Assens et al., 1973) based on the presence of the larger foraminifera association of Alveosepta jaccardi (Schrodt), Everticyclammina virguliana (Koechlin), Pseudocyclammina cf lituus (Yokohama), Kurnubiapalastiniensis Henson and "Labyrinthina" mirabilis (Fourcade and Neumann). The overlying Villar del Arzobispo Fm contains an association of larger foraminifera dominated by Anchispirocyclina lusitanica (Egger), allowing the assignment of this unit to the Portlandian (Fig. 2B; Ramirez del Pozo in Assens et al., 1973) or to the Upper Kimmeridgian-Portlandian (Fig. 2B; Viallard, 1973; Mas and Alonso, 1981; Mas et al., 1984). However, Viallard (1973), Mas and Alonso (1981) and Mas et al. (1984) mentioned the local occurrence of Alveosepta jaccardi at the basal strata of some sections of the Villar del Arzobispo Fm, and therefore a possible Kimmeridgian age was suggested for the basal strata of this unit (Fig. 2B).

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In the following years, and after the acceptance of the Tithonian as a stage-by the International Commission on Stratigraphy in 1990, several authors tried to adapt the "old" ages to the new global scales in their regional works, leading to problematic interpretations. In this sense, Aurell et al. (1994; 2002) and Mas et al. (2004), based on the same fossils previously mentioned, attributed the Higueruelas Fm to the Tithonian and the Villar del Arzobispo Fm to the Late TithonianMiddle Berriasian, in an attempt to adapt the Boreal ages to Mediterranean stages, firstly and to the Global Time Scale, later (Fig. 2B).

The Aldea de Cortes Fm has been attributed to the Valanginian-Hauterivian based only on the ages of its underlying and overlying geological units (Fig. 2A) but no paleontological data support this age (Mas, 1981; Mas y Alonso, 1981; Mas et al., 1982; 1984; 2004; Vilas et al., 1982).

3. Methodology

This research is based on the geological mapping and the stratigraphic, petrographic and paleontological analysis of the Higueruelas, Villar del Arzobispo and Aldea de Cortes Fms. Geological mapping was performed using field observations, aerial photographs and satellite images (Fig. 1). The acquired data were integrated and georeferenced with Arc-GIS software.

Two stratigraphic sections (named ACW and ACE; Fig. 3) were logged in the areas with best outcrop conditions (Fig. 1). The three studied units outcrop completely in the ACW section, whereas in the ACE section, the lowermost part of the Higueruelas Fm does not outcrop due to the presence of a fault at the base of this section.

A total of 140 rock samples were collected systematically along the stratigraphic sections, as well as in areas with special sedimentological and paleontological interest. A polished and uncovered thin section (30 [micro]m thick) was prepared for each rock sample, in order to carry out a petrological study. Petrographic and sedimentological descriptions were based on the classification of carbonate rocks of Dunham (1962) and the classification of siliciclastic rocks of Zuffa (1980). For the oncolitic deposits of the Higueruelas Fm, the description of the microfabrics observed in the oncolitic laminae is based on the terminology used by Dahanayake (1977) for the Kimmeridgian oncoids of the French Jura Mountains.

The paleontological study is based on ten samples (Ac1027, Ac1029, Ac1031, Ac1033, Ac1035, ACE011-014, ACE016) from several levels of the Villar del Arzobispo Formation (Fig. 3). No paleontological content of biostratigraphic relevance has been found in the underlying Higueruelas Fm and the overlying Aldea de Cortes Fm (see the facies description). From these ten samples, 17 thin sections were prepared, and the foraminiferal content was analyzed, with special attention to the larger foraminifera. About twenty random sections of Alveoseptapersonata (Tobler) have been obtained associated to few and bad preserved sections of Kurnubia sp., "Labyrinthina" mirabilis (Fourcade and Neumann), small and flat trocholinids, Nautiloculina oolithica Mohler, small miliolids and small agglutinated benthic foraminifera. All the material collected for this research is held at the Stratigraphy Department of the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain).

Paleocurrent data were represented in rose diagrams with PAST software (Hammer et al., 2001), which show paleocurrent senses grouped in classes of 15[degrees]. The relative abundance of paleocurrent measurements in each class is represented by the length of each sector. The total number of paleocurrent measurements is indicated on the upper right part of each roses diagram with letter "n" (Figs. 5B, 8F). For obtaining final paleocurrent values, the tectonic dip was discounted using the sterographic projection.

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4. Facies analysis

Fifteen carbonate and siliciclastic facies have been distinguished (Table 1, Fig. 3) and have been grouped into nine facies associations (two facies associations in the Higueruelas Fm, three in the Villar del Arzobispo Fm and four in the Aldea de Cortes Fm, Table 2), representing different depositional environments, which are described and interpreted below.

4.1. Higueruelas Fm facies associations (Fig. 4)

The Higueruelas Fm outcrops in both stratigraphic sections; in the ACW section, this unit outcrops completely, whereas only its uppermost part is observed in the ACE section (Fig. 3).

A: Oncolitic and peloidal facies association

This facies association only occurs in the lower and middle parts of the Higueruelas Fm in the stratigraphic section ACW (Fig. 3) and has been subdivided into two facies subassociations:

Facies subassociation A1. The facies subassociation A1 is observed in the lower part of Higueruelas Fm (Fig. 3). It is composed of fining-upwards sequences of 2.20-5.30 m in thickness with flat or slightly irregular bases and tops (Fig. 4A). Sequences start with oncolitic packstone facies (F1), changing upwards, gradually but rapidly, within few centimeters, to peloidal packstone facies (F2A).

The oncolitic packstone facies (F1) is arranged in decimeter to meter thick massive beds (up to 2.40 m) with occasional and poorly-preserved large-scale cross-bedding (paleocurrents towards the E-NE, Fig. 4A). Components of this facies are: oncoids, fecal pellets and bioclasts (Fig. 4D-F). Fecal pellets show homogeneous sizes (50-200 [micro]m), rounded to elliptical sections and display, occasionally, an internal sieve-like structure. Bioclasts are small agglutinated forams and miliolids, fragments of serpulids, echinoderms, ostreids and other bivalves, gastropods, brachiopods, corals and sponges. Oncoids show rounded or slightly elliptical sections and are 0.5-2.5 cm in size, although in each bed, oncoids typically show homogeneous sizes. Oncoid nuclei are usually one of the bioclasts mentioned above or intraclasts, and occasionally they show compound nuclei. The cortex of the oncoids is mainly formed by discontinuous concentric laminae (Fig. 4E-F) and, less commonly, by continuous laminae. Laminae are composed of different microfabrics: 1) Dense micritic microfabric. 2) Grumose microfabric composed of 15-100 [micro]m size micritic aggregates separated by sparite cement. 3) Organism-bearing microfabric formed by micrite or micritic aggregates and encrusting organisms (serpulids, nubecularid forams, Troglotella incrustans Wernli and Fookes, Lithocodium aggregatum Elliot and Bacinella irregularis Radoicic) and/or fragmented bioclasts. These microfabrics may occur in different laminae of the same oncoid.

The peloidal packstone facies (F2A; see Fig. 4G) is composed of fecal pellets (20-100[micro]m), and scarce small agglutinated forams and miliolids and slightly fragmented fossil remains (<10%): bivalves, brachiopods and echinoderms. No tractive structures have been observed within this facies.

Interpretation of facies subassociation A1

Oncolitic deposits (F1) of the facies subassociation A1 are interpreted as deposited in subtidal oncoid shoals which migrated in a carbonate platform and under normal marine salinity waters, due to their fossil

content. The fact that oncoid laminae are mostly discontinuous indicates that oncoids remained static under calm periods, allowing microbial mats and/or encrusting organisms to colonize the surface of the oncoid that was not in contact with the sediment. Episodes of agitation were also required to turn the oncoids over, allowing the colonization of the rest of their surface (e.g. Dahanayake, 1977). This alternation of calmed and agitated episodes suggests that the oncolitic deposits were affected by episodic currents such as storm currents. Similar oncolitic deposits have been previously described in the Higueruelas Fm in other areas of the Iberian Basin and have been interpreted as oncoid shoals subjected to the action of episodic storms in the middle ramp of a storm-dominated carbonate platform (Aurell et al., 1994; 1999; Ipas et al., 2004). Comparable oncolitic deposits have been also described in the Late Kimmeridgian Torrecilla Fm in other sectors of the Iberian Basin (Zaragoza and Teruel provinces), where they have been interpreted as deposited in the middle ramp of a carbonate platform affected by storms (Badenas et al., 1993; Badenas and Aurell, 2004; 2010), which produced undertow currents out to the sea, located eastwards (Badenas, 1999; Aurell et al., 1995; Badenas and Aurell, 2001b).

The peloidal packstone facies (F2A) is interpreted as deposited under calm conditions, in "shadow areas", according to Gomez (1979) and Aurell (1990), developed between the oncoid shoals, where invertebrate organisms, such as crustaceans, gastropods, bivalves, and brachiopods, among others, produced abundant fecal pellets (e.g. Tucker and Wright, 1990; Flugel, 1982; 2010).

The dominant discontinuous nature of oncoid laminae, which were transported episodically by storm currents, and the lack of tractive structures in the peloidal facies (F2A) suggest that the facies subassociation A1 was deposited in the mid-carbonate platform below the fair-weather wave base and above the storm wave base.

Facies subassociation A2. The facies subassociation A2 is observed in the middle part of the Higueruelas Fm (Fig. 3). It is composed of fining-upwards sequences, 1.50-7.5 m thick, with flat or slightly irregular bases and tops (Fig. 4B), which start with oncolitic packstone-grainstone and grainstone facies (F3) and change upwards gradually and rapidly, within few centimeters, to rippled peloidal packstone (F2B).

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The oncolitic packstone-grainstone and grainstone facies (F3; Fig. 4B, H, J) is arranged in meter thick beds and it includes: oncoids, homogeneous and submillimetric fecal pellets (50-200 [micro]m), micritic intraclasts (50-200 [micro]m), and the same bioclasts mentioned in facies subassociation A1 but including irregular and angular fragments of chaetetids and stromatoporids (up to 7 cm in size). Oncoids show rounded or slightly elliptical sections and are 0.5-2 cm in size, but in each bed oncoids typically show homogeneous sizes. Oncoid nuclei are formed by one of the bioclasts mentioned above or by an intraclast. The oncoid cortices are mainly formed by continuous concentric laminae (Fig. 4I-J) of micritic and grumose microfabrics. Less abundant discontinuous laminae of organism-bearing microfabric are also observed. The rippled peloidal packstone facies (F2B; see Fig. 4K) is mainly composed of fecal pellets (50-100[micro]m), but in contrast to facies F2A, it also contains minor micritic intraclasts (50-200[micro]m), scarce small agglutinated forams and miliolids, scarce highly fragmented fossil remains (bivalves, brachiopods, echinoderms and serpulids) and scarce quartz grains (<5%) and, in addition, displays current and wave ripples.

Interpretation of facies subassociation A2

The nature of the oncoid cortices of facies F3, mainly formed by continuous concentric laminae, required constant agitated conditions to rotate the oncoid regularly, in order to develop the same microfabric around the entire oncoid surface. This fact, together with the nature of the fossil content and the packstone-grainstone to grainstone texture, indicate that these deposits were developed in oncolitic shoals, which migrated in the inner-carbonate platform under normal marine salinity waters with continuous agitation and thus, above the fair-weather wave base. This interpretation is in accordance with features of the peloidal packstone facies F2B (highly fragmented fossils and wave and current ripples), which suggest that they were reworked by tractive currents. Moreover, this interpretation is also consistent with that proposed for the oncolitic deposits of the Higueruelas Fm (Aurell, 1990; Aurell et al., 1994) and the Torrecilla Fm (Badenas and Aurell, 2010) in other sectors of the Iberian Basin, which have been interpreted as oncolitic shoals developed in highly agitated open-marine areas around or above the fair-weather wave base in the inner-ramp of a carbonate platform.

[FIGURE 6 OMITTED]

B: Peloidal and bioclastic facies association

This facies association is observed in the upper part of the Higueruelas Fm in both stratigraphic sections (Fig. 3). It is formed by fining-upwards sequences of 3-7.5 m in thickness with flat or slightly irregular bases and tops (Fig. 4C). The sequences start with peloidal and bioclastic packstone-grainstone facies (F4), which change gradually and rapidly to rippled peloidal packstone facies (F2B).

The peloidal and bioclastic packstone-grainstone (F4; see Fig. 4C, L-M) is arranged in meter thick massive beds with occasional large-scale cross-bedding (Fig. 4L) showing paleocurrents pointing towards the NE and SE (Fig. 4C). It is mainly composed of homogeneous and submillimetric fecal pellets (50-250 [micro]m), bioclasts (fragments of echinoderms, brachiopods, bivalves, corals, gastropods, ostreids, sponges, small agglutinated forams and miliolids, and solenoporacean red algae) and sub-rounded to rounded submillimeter-sized (50-700 [micro]m) carbonate intraclasts, which have mudstone, bioclastic wackestone, or peloidal packstone textures. Bioclasts and intraclasts commonly show incipient thin continuous oncolitic laminae of micritic and grumose microfabrics (Fig. 4M).

Rippled peloidal packstone facies (F2B) is formed by fecal pellets (50-100 [micro]m), minor micritic intraclasts (50-500 [micro]m), quartz grains (10-15%), scarce small agglutinated forams and miliolids, scarce highly fragmented fossil remains (bivalves, echinoderms and serpulids) and scarce ooids. Wave and current ripples are observed in this facies.

Interpretation of facies association B

The packstone-grainstone texture, the presence of tractive structures (large-scale cross-bedding), the incipient continuous oncolitic laminae and the fossil content of the peloidal and bioclastic facies (F4) suggest that they were deposited above the fair-weather wave base and under normal marine salinity waters, as the result of the migration of peloidal and bioclastic shoals in the inner-carbonate platform. The decrease of the oncoid cortices thickness in relation to those of the oncoid and peloidal facies association A, indicates a progressive upwards decrease of oncoid development. Comparable interpretations are given for similar deposits of the Higueruelas Fm in other areas of the Iberian Basin (Zaragoza province) by Ipas et al. (2004). Similar deposits have been also described in the Bovalar Fm (middle Tithonian-early Berriasian) at the Penyagolosa sub-basin (Maestrat Basin), which have been interpreted as highly-agitated shoals developed in the inner ramp of a carbonate platform (Badenas et al., 2004). On the other hand, features of the rippled peloidal packstone facies (F2B) indicate that these deposits, developed between the shoals, were also reworked by tractive currents, as interpreted for the oncoid and peloidal facies subassociation A2.

4.2. Villar del Arzobispo Fm facies associations (Figs. 5-6)

The Villar del Arzobispo Fm has been observed in both stratigraphic sections ACW and ACE (Fig. 3), where three facies associations have been distinguished:

C: Sandstone facies association

This facies association is observed in the middle part of the stratigraphic section ACW and in the lower part of the stratigraphic section ACE (Fig. 3) and is interbedded with marine carbonates of the peloidal and bioclastic facies (F3), the oolitic facies (F6) and locally with the rippled peloidal packstone facies (F2B). The association is formed by 0.40 to 5.50 m-thick sequences of very fine--to fine-grained sandstone (F5; Fig. 5A-D), commonly displaying parallel lamination (F5A) at the lower part and large-scale cross-bedding (F5B) at the upper part (Fig. 5C). Sandstone beds are occasionally formed by cross-bed sets that display tangential bottomsets and topsets (sigmoidal-like stratification cf. Mutti et al., 1996). Paleocurrent measurements of these deposits indicate a predominant transport towards the northwest and a subordinate transport towards the southeast (Fig. 5B). Burrowing is occasionally observed in the upper part of the sandstone bodies. Sandstone is composed of quartz, feldspar, micritic intraclasts (50-100 [micro]m), minor muscovite, biotite and scarce tourmaline. Bioclasts, carbonate intraclasts, and ooids may constitute up to 15% of the sediment in the lower part of the sandstone beds (Fig. 5D), but they are progressively less abundant upwards and bioclasts and ooids are even absent in the upper part of some sequences. Bioclasts consist of fragments of ostreids and other bivalves, echinoderms, serpulids, gastropods, small agglutinated forams, small miliolids, sponges, and plant remains. Carbonate intraclasts (200 [micro]m-1,5 mm) have sub-angular to sub-rounded sections and show different carbonate textures (mudstone, wackestone of ooids, peloids and bioclasts).

Interpretation of facies association C

Based on the scarcity or even lack of fossils within the sandstones of this facies association, compared to the high proportion of marine fossils observed in the underlying and overlying marine carbonates, which, in turn, contain few siliciclastic grains, the sandstone facies association is interpreted as the result of siliciclastic discharges coming from the elevated areas of the continent and transported to the carbonate platform. After deposition in the carbonate platform, siliciclastic deposits would have been colonized by burrowers and/or reworked by marine currents. This is supported by paleocurrent data pointing to predominant transport directions towards the northwest (indicating a transport towards the continent), because they coincide with the pathway of hurricanes during the Late Jurassic (Marsaglia and DeVries, 1983; Badenas and Aurell, 2001a), which affected the storm-dominated carbonate ramp developed in other areas of the Iberian Basin (Badenas and Aurell, 2001a; 2001b; 2004; 2010).

D: Oolitic andpeloidal facies association

This facies association is observed in the lower-middle part of ACW stratigraphic section and in the lower part of ACE stratigraphic section (Fig. 3). It has been subdivided into two facies subassociations:

Facies subassociation D1. The facies subassociation D1 overlies the sandstone facies association C in both stratigraphic sections (Fig. 3). It is formed by fining-upward sequences, 1.5-9 m thick, with flat or slightly irregular bases and tops (Fig. 6A). Sequences start with oolitic packstonegrainstone facies (F6), which gradually and rapidly changes upwards to peloidal packstone facies (F2A), rippled peloidal packstone facies (F2B) or mudstone facies (F7).

The oolitic packstone-grainstone facies (F6) is arranged in meter thick massive beds with occasional large-scale crossbedding (Fig. 6A-B). The oolitic facies (F6) is composed of well-sorted ooids (50-200 [micro]m; Fig. 6C), quartz grains, bioclasts, carbonate intraclasts, homogeneous fecal pellets (50-200 [micro]m) and scarce oncoids. Ooid laminae have radial and micritic microstructures and their nuclei are formed by quartz grains, carbonate particles or fossil remains (Fig. 6C). Bioclasts are constituted of small and large agglutinated forams and miliolids and fragments of gastropods, echinoderms, bivalves and dasycladales. The foraminifers Alveosepta and Nautiloculina have been distinguished. Carbonate intraclasts show sub-rounded sections, submillimeter sizes (50-400 [micro]m) and oolitic wackestone or packstone texture. The peloidal packstone facies (F2A and F2B) is similar to those described in the facies associations A and B (see above): they are formed by submillimetric fecal pellets and scarce fragments of gastropods and ostracods (F2A), or by fecal pellets, minor irregular micritic intraclasts, scarce small agglutinated forams and miliolids, scarce highly fragmented bivalves and echinoderms and scarce ooids, displaying wave and/or current ripples (F2B). The foraminifers Kurnubia aff. palastiniensis Henson and Nautiloculina have been observed. Mudstone facies (F7) is constituted of dense micrite, scarce small and large agglutinated forams, small miliolids, and fragments of bivalves, gastropods, brachiopods, and echinoderms.

The tops of the sequences are occasionally irregular and brecciated, displaying vertical dissolution structures that thin downwards (Fig. 6A). The breccia matrix and the infill of the vertical structures consist of very fine-grained sandstone.

Interpretation of facies subassociation D1

Deposits of the facies subassociation D1 are interpreted as shallowing-upwards sequences similar to those described from ancient shallow carbonate platforms (e.g. Wilson, 1975; James, 1977; Enos, 1983, Caron et al., 2005; Diedrich et al., 2011; Sano et al., 2012). These sequences were occasionally subaerial exposed, as suggested by the presence of irregular and brecciated tops and the thinning-downwards vertical structures, typically caused by edaphic processes (e.g. Alonso-Zarza and Wright, 2010). The good sorting, the packstone-grainstone texture, the presence of tractive structures and the fossil content of the oolitic facies (F6) indicate that these sequences were formed by the migration of oolitic shoals transported by tractive currents in the inner-carbonate platform, above the fair-weather wave-base. This interpretation is consistent with that given for the oolitic deposits of the Villar del Arzobipo Fm in the NW of Valencia province, which have been interpreted as oolitic shoals developed in the inner-carbonate platform (Mas and Alonso, 1981; Mas et al., 1984). The nucleation of ooids was favored by the presence of abundant quartz grains in the platform, which were introduced by continental siliciclastic discharges (see sandstone facies association C). Protected areas were developed among the oolitic shoals, where invertebrate organisms produced abundant fecal pellets (peloidal packstone facies F2A, F2B), and where micrite accumulated under calm conditions (mudstone facies F7). This is similar to the shallow subtidal lagoon protected by oolitic shoals in the Great Bahama Bank in which mud and pellet facies-belts are complexly distributed (e.g. Purdy, 1963; Halley et al., 1983; Reijmer et al., 2009; Harris et al., 2015). In fact, in the lagoon of the Great Bahama Bank the percentage of mud increases towards the coast of Andros Island (e.g. Bathurst, 1975; Kaczmarek et al., 2010; Harris et al., 2015), which according to Bathurst (1976), could be related to freshwater inputs from the swamps and channels of Andros Island into the areas next to the coast. Similarly, the distribution of the peloidal packstone facies and the mudstone facies in the facies subassociation D1 could be related with freshwater inputs into the carbonate platform, as suggested by the fact that this facies subassociation overlies sandstone beds interpreted as the result of continental siliciclastic discharges (see sandstone facies association C). Furthermore, the fossil content of this association is less diverse than in facies associations A and B, a difference that could be explained by freshwater inputs, which would have produced a decrease in salinity, from normal marine to marine brackish waters.

Facies subassociation D2. The facies subassociation D2 is observed above the facies subassociation D1 in both stratigraphic sections (Fig. 3) and it is formed by 0.95-8 m thick sequences (Fig. 6D). The base of the sequences may be slightly irregular, including accumulation of angular and heterometric carbonate intraclasts (0.2-2 cm long; Fig. 6D-E). Sequences occasionally display irregular and brecciated tops, which show vertical dissolution structures, similar to those described in facies subassociation D1 (Fig. 6F). Sequences start with oolitic packstone-grainstone facies (F6), which gradually changes upwards to bioclastic and peloidal packstone and packstone-grainstone facies (F8A). The bioclastic and peloidal facies (F8A) is constituted of fecal pellets, micritic intraclasts and bioclasts (small and large agglutinated forams, small miliolids and trocholinids), which are more abundant than other fossil remains such as echinoderms, dasycladales, gastropods, ostreids and other bivalves (Fig. 6G). The foraminifers Alveosepta, Nautiloculina and Labyrinthina mirabilis (Fourcade and Neumann) have been distinguished, as well as dasycladacean algae Salpingoporella granieri Dieni & Radoicic (Fig. 6H-I), Salpingoporella annulata Carozzi (Fig. 6J-K) and Holosporella (Fig. 6L-M), (Dr. I. Bucur, personal communication). Thalassinoides-like traces are occasionally observed at the top of the beds. Locally, in the stratigraphic section ACE, in the upper part of this association, abundant quartz grains and charophytes have been observed together with gastropods and other mollusks, ostracods and scarce echinoderms.

In the stratigraphic section ACW, thickening and coarsening upwards siliciclastic sequences (up to 50 cm of thickness) are locally observed over these carbonate deposits (Fig. 6D, N). These siliciclastic sequences are constituted by thin layers of very fine-grained rippled sandstone (F11A) and marl (F9) at the base that change upwards to large-scale cross-bedded very fine--to fine-grained sandstone (F11B; Fig. 6N). Sandstone beds lack marine fossils and display burrowing (Thalassinoides-like traces) and wave ripples (F11A) at the top of the beds (Fig. 6N). Paleocurrent measurements of these deposits indicate a transport towards the east (Fig. 6D).

Interpretation of facies subassociation D2

Sequences of facies subassociation D2 are interpreted as shallowing-upwards sequences deposited in a shallow carbonate platform, similar to those interpreted in facies subassociation D1. These sequences occasionally underwent periods of subaerial exposure, as occurred in facies subassociation D1. The shallowing-upwards sequences of the facies subassociation D2 start with oolitic facies (F6) and gradually change upwards to bioclastic and peloidal facies (F8A). The textures and structures of these facies, together with their fossil content, indicate that they were deposited under agitated conditions in shallow areas of the carbonate platform and under marine brackish salinity waters. The abundance of quartz grains and the local presence of charophytes at the top of some sequences suggest that the shallow areas of the carbonate platform received occasional and local important freshwater and siliciclastic inputs from the continental areas.

Furthermore, the thickening and coarsening-upwards siliciclastic sequences, occasionally observed in the stratigraphic section ACW over the carbonate sequences of the facies subassociation D2, lack marine fossils and show a transport towards the east suggesting a continental provenance. Features of these siliciclastic sequences indicate that they were the result of siliciclastic discharges coming from the elevated areas of the continent and they were deposited as prograding lobes (sensu Ricci-Lucchi, 1975; Wright and Wilson, 1984; Zhang et al., 2011) in shallow areas of the carbonate platform. These deposits were reworked by wave currents and were affected by burrowers as it is evidenced by the wave ripples and the Thalassinoides-like traces observed at the tops of the sandstone beds.

E: Marl-limestone-sandstone facies association

This facies association is observed in both stratigraphic sections, although it is poorly developed in the ACE section (Figs. 3, 6O). This association is constituted of marl (F9), interbedded with bioclastic and peloidal packstone and packstone-grainstone facies (F8A) and occasionally with sandstone (F11 and F12A). Marl (F9) layers are up to 20 m thick and show yellow and grey colors. The bioclastic and peloidal facies (F8A) is arranged in decimeter to meter thick massive or nodular beds, is poorly-sorted and is mainly formed by millimetric and submillimetric bioclasts (small and large agglutinated forams, small miliolids, trocholinids, and fragments of echinoderms, gastropods, serpulids, dasycladales, bivalves, ostracods, and solenoporacean red algae), fragments of ostreids up to 7 cm in size (Fig. 6P), quartz grains (10%), fecal pellets, carbonate intraclasts and scarce ooids and oncoids. The larger foraminiferal genus Alveosepta has been found in this unit (Fig. 3). Carbonate intraclasts are 50-700 [micro]m in size and show mudstone and bioclast wackestone textures and peloidal and oolitic packstone textures. Moreover, Rhizocorallium burrowing is commonly observed in the bioclastic and peloidal facies (F8; Fig. 6P). Sandstone (F11 and F12A) beds are less abundant than limestone beds and occur as fine--to medium-grained decimeter--to meter--thick massive tabular levels with occasional large-scale cross-bedding (F11B), parallel lamination (F11C) or sigmoidal-like stratification (F12A; Fig. 6Q), and bioturbation. Paleocurrent measurements of these siliciclastic deposits indicate transport towards the east (Fig. 6O).

Interpretation of facies association E

This facies association, dominated by marl facies, directly overlies shallow marine carbonates (facies association D; Fig. 3) suggesting deposition in very shallow protected areas. Ramirez del Pozo found an ostracod association characteristic of brackish waters in marl of the middle to upper part of the ACW section (Assens et al., 1973). Therefore, this marl facies is interpreted as deposited in a protected and brackish lagoon, which is consistent with previous interpretations of the Villar del Arzobispo Fm marl (Mas and Alonso, 1981; Mas et al., 1984). Marl is commonly interbedded with bioclastic and peloidal facies (F8A). The poor sorting of the bioclastic and peloidal facies (F8A), their fossil content indicative of marine brackish salinities, and the presence of bioclasts of different sizes suggest that the marine components of this facies were transported into the lagoon by episodic currents (probably storms), from neighboring, shallow, marine brackish areas of the carbonate platform (facies subassociation D2). In general, it is a common feature of storm-dominated platforms that agitated events, such as storms, episodically interrupt the calm conditions prevailing in the lagoonal areas (Aigner, 1985).

[FIGURE 7 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 8 OMITTED]

Regarding the scarce sandstone deposits interbedded with marl, their sedimentary structures (parallel lamination, large-scale cross-bedding, sigmoidal-like stratification), paleocurrents indicating a transport towards the east and the lack of fossil remains suggest that they arrived to the lagoon as siliciclastic discharges transported by tractive currents from the elevated continental areas. Moreover, the sigmoidal-like stratification that characterizes some sandstone beds is similar to that described by Mutti et al. (1996) and Turner and Tester (2006), and interpreted as the result of siliciclastic discharges entering ephemeral stagnant water bodies. Therefore, these features lead to interpret the siliciclastic deposits as the progradation of siliciclastic lobes into the lagoon.

4.3. Aldea de Cortes Fm facies associations (Figs. 7-8)

The Aldea de Cortes Fm is observed in both stratigraphic sections ACW and ACE (Fig.3). Four facies associations have been identified:

F: Siliciclastic mudstone-sandstone facies association

This facies association is observed in both stratigraphic sections ACW and ACE and it is interbedded with facies associations G, H and I (Fig. 3). It is formed by reddish and greenish siliciclastic mudstone (F10) commonly showing green mottling and carbonate nodules, interbedded with minor very fine--to fine--grained sandstone (F11 and F12A; see Fig. 7A-B), similar to those described in facies association E. Ex situ fragments of vertebrate remains (up to 9 cm in size) have been observed within siliciclastic mudstone (F10). Very fine--to fine-grained sandstone (F11) is arranged in decimeter thick beds (6-60 cm) with occasional current ripples (F11A), parallel lamination (F11C), millimetric and centimetric plant remains and bioturbation. Some fine-grained sandstone layers display sigmoidal-like stratification (F12A) characterized by foresets that thin and flat downdip and updip into tangential bottomsets and topsets. The foresets and the bottomsets are occasionally draped by mica flakes. Paleocurrent measurements of these deposits indicate transport toward the southeast (Fig. 7A).

Interpretation of facies association F

Reddish and greenish siliciclastic mudstone (F10) commonly displaying green mottling and carbonate nodules is interpreted as deposited in a flood plain, which underwent periodical subaerial exposure and development of paleosols (e.g. Freytet and Plaziat, 1982; Alonso-Zarza and Wright, 2010). Very fine--to fine-grained sandstone interbedded with siliciclastic mudstone is interpreted as the result of siliciclastic discharges coming from elevated continental areas, transported by tractive currents. The occasional sigmoidal-like stratification suggests, as in facies association E, that they were deposited as siliciclastic lobes in ephemeral stagnant water bodies (cf. Mutti et al., 1996; Turner and Tester, 2006).

G: Coarse--to very coarse-grained sandstone and conglomerate facies association

This facies association is observed in both stratigraphic sections ACW and ACE (Fig. 3) and it is composed of coarse-to vey coarse-grained sandstone (F12B) and clast-supported conglomerate (F13, F14) occurring in fining upwards beds, which are interbedded with reddish and greenish siliciclastic mudstone (F10; see Fig. 7C-D). Cross-bedded conglomerate (F13) and coarse--to very coarse-grained sandstone (F12B) occur in fining-upwards beds with thicknesses of 15-20 cm and limited lateral extension of at least 4 m (Fig. C, E). The bases of the beds are commonly flat or slightly irregular. The lower part of these beds is made up of conglomerate composed of angular to sub-rounded carbonate clasts (0.2-1.6 cm in diameter) within a coarse to very coarse sandy matrix, and contain scarce fragments of plant remains (fragments of fossil trunks up to 5 cm in size) and very scarce ooids. This conglomerate changes gradually upwards to cross-bedded, coarse--to very coarse-grained, poorly-sorted sandstone with scatter carbonate pebbles. This sandstone displays tangential bottomsets and topsets (sigmoidal-like stratification; see Fig. 7C, E). Paleocurrent measurements of these deposits indicate a transport towards the southeast (Fig. 7C).

Other fining-upwards beds (40-60 cm of thickness) are composed of massive clast-supported conglomerate (F14), which change upwards to cross-bedded coarse--to very coarse-grained sandstone (F12B). These beds show limited lateral extension (up to 3 m) and slightly irregular bases (Fig. 7D, F). The lower part of these beds is formed by poorly-to very poorly-sorted massive clast-supported conglomerate, which is composed of angular to sub-rounded carbonate clasts and scarce quartzite clasts (0.2-5 cm in diameter) within a fine--to medium-grained sandy matrix, and contain very scarce fragments of ostreids, ooids, vertebrate remains and plant remains (fragments of fossil trunks up to 12 cm in size; Fig. 7D). This conglomerate changes gradually upwards to coarse--to very coarse-grained sandstone (F12B) occasionally displaying large-scale cross-bedding (Fig. 7D, F).

Interpretation of facies association G

Conglomerate and coarse--to very coarse-grained sandstone occurring in fining-upwards beds and interbedded with siliciclastic mudstone are interpreted as the result of clastic discharges transported by ephemeral currents and deposited in a flood plain, which was periodically subaerially exposed and affected by edaphic processes. The sigmoidal-like stratification observed in some coarse--to very coarse-grained sandstone suggests that some of these clastic discharges were deposited as lobes in ephemeral stagnant water bodies in the flood plain (cf. Mutti et al., 1996; Turner and Tester, 2006), as occurs in the lagoon and flood plain facies associations (facies associations E and F). Moreover, paleocurrent measurements indicating a transport towards the southeast suggest that these clastic discharges came from elevated continental areas. In addition, the presence of very scarce ooids and fragments of ostreids within the facies of this association suggests that deposition took place in coastal areas as it is discussed later in the limestone facies association H (see below).

H: Limestone facies association

This facies association is observed in both stratigraphic sections ACW and ACE (Fig. 3). It is composed of bioclastic and peloidal packstone and packstone-grainstone facies (F8B; Fig. 7G-L) interbedded with reddish and greenish siliciclastic mudstone (F10), which often shows green mottling and carbonate nodules (Fig. 7G). The bioclastic and peloidal facies (F8B) is arranged in decimeter to meter thick massive beds (up to 1 m thick), and is composed of poorly--to very poorly-sorted bioclasts (fragments of charophytes, ostracods, gastropods, ostreids and other bivalves up to 4 cm in size, and scarce echinoderms, small agglutinated forams, small miliolids, and millimeter-scale vertebrate remains; Fig. 7HK), sub-angular quartz grains (20-25%), fecal pellets (50 to 100 [micro]m), intraclasts, and scarce ooids (Fig. 7J). Intraclasts are sub-rounded to sub-angular, show submillimeter to millimeter sizes (50 [micro]m-1.6 mm), and have different textures: mudstone, wackestone and packstone of bioclasts, peloids and quartz grains. Some bioclastic and peloidal layers show a grainstone texture in which fragments of bivalves are rounded to subrounded and are oriented parallel to the bedding (Fig. 7K). Thalassinoides-Uke traces are occasionally observed at the top of the beds (Fig. 7L).

Interpretation of facies association H

This facies association is formed by limestone interbedded with reddish and greenish siliciclastic mudstone with mottling and carbonate nodules suggesting frequent subaerial exposure and paleosol development (as interpreted for facies associations F and G). Limestone contains ooids and fossil remains of marine affinity (ostreids, forams and echinoderms), which are similar to those described in the lagoon facies association (facies association E) but are less abundant. Moreover, limestone of this association contains abundant quartz grains and fossils indicative of freshwater environments (charophytes). Therefore, the fossil content of this limestone indicates a mixture of water sources: seawater from shallow marine areas and freshwater from continental areas. The components of limestone are also poorly--to very poorly-sorted, suggesting that they were transported by episodic events, such as storms and/or flooding. During these events, marine bioclasts and ooids may have been transported from neighboring areas with marine waters, whereas charophytes, which are commonly fragmented, and quartz grains may have been transported from freshwater environments. As a whole, this association is interpreted as a low gradient coastal plain that could have been easily flooded, but also periodically desiccated allowing the development of very shallow and relatively ephemeral water bodies separated by vegetated areas. Locally, some of these water bodies could have been more stable and remained longer in the coastal plain, allowing continuous agitation by currents, probably waves, which would explain the abrasion and rounding of bioclasts, the orientation of elongated bioclasts, and the grainstone texture observed in some layers. Furthermore, some of these shallow and more stable water bodies could have been colonized by marine burrowers, as indicated by the Thalassinoides-Uke traces at the top of some beds.

I: Large-scale cross-bedded sandstone facies association

This facies association is observed in both stratigraphic sections ACW and ACE (Fig. 3). It is formed by fine--to medium-grained, well--to very well-sorted, cross-bedded sandstone (F15), which is interbedded with reddish and greenish mottled siliciclastic mudstone (F10; Fig. 8A). Sandstone bodies are arranged in decimeter to meter thick beds (up to 10 m in thickness) of great lateral continuity (from 100 m to, at least, 300 m wide; Fig. 8B-C), and show flat or slightly irregular bases and flat tops. Sandstone bodies display large-scale cross-bedding (Fig. 8A-B) and may show oblique erosion surfaces separating sets of cross-strata producing wedge-shaped sets (F15A). Towards the lower part of the sandstone bodies, cross-bedded sets are commonly thinner (less than 60 cm; see Fig. 8A-C) and display high angle (up to 30[degrees]) foresets, short lateral extension and reactivation surfaces (F15A). Cross-bedded sets commonly become thicker upwards (up to 2.20 m; see Fig. 8A-C), displaying low angle foresets (less than 15[degrees]), laterally continuous bottomsets and reactivation surfaces (F15A). The bottomsets and, occasionally, the lower part of the foresets of low angle sets may be draped by thin layers of plant remains and mica flakes (F15A; Fig. 8D-E). Locally, current and wave ripples, also draped by plant remains and mica flakes, are observed at the bottomsets (F15B; Fig. 8E). Sub-rounded to angular muddy soft pebbles (0.2-3 cm) are present in some foresets. Paleocurrent measurements of these deposits indicate main transport towards the SE (Fig. 8F).

Interpretation of facies association I

Cross-bedded sandstone bodies (F15) show several sedimentary structures (reactivation surfaces, current and wave ripples at the bottomsets, and mica flakes and plant remains draping the bottomsets and occasionally the lower part of the foresets), which are commonly interpreted as tidal in origin (e.g. Nio and Yang, 1991; Ponten and Plink-Bjorklund, 2009; Martinius and Van den Berg, 2011). In fact, these sandstone bodies have been previously interpreted as subtidal bars developed in a tide-influenced deltaic plain (Mas 1981; Mas et al., 2004). Nevertheless, if they had been deposited as subtidal bars it would be expected that they contained marine fossils, as all the facies interpreted as deposited in marine settings (see facies associations A, B, D, E and F). Moreover, if they had been deposited as subtidal bars, it would also be expected that they were laterally and vertically associated with facies containing tidal structures, such as flaser, wavy and lenticular bedding (e.g. Reineck and Wunderlich, 1968; Dalrymple, 2010), which have not been observed in the study area. On the contrary, the cross-bedded sandstone bodies (F15) are interbedded with reddish siliciclastic mudstone (F10) with common edaphic features, which do not contain any marine fossils and show little evidence of tidal influence. Therefore, a subtidal origin for the sandstone bodies may be questioned, although minor tidal influence is not discarded.

Furthermore, features of the cross-bedded sandstone bodies (F15), such as great lateral continuity, thick sets, fine-medium--to medium-grain size, good to very good grain-sorting, low angle foresets occurring in sets of great thickness, high angle foresets, reactivation surfaces, wedge-shaped sets and even muddy soft pebbles within the sandy foresets, have been described by many authors as common features of aeolian dunes in modern and ancient examples (e.g. Kocurek, 1981; Hunter et al., 1983; Langford and Chan, 1989; Clemmensen et al., 2001; Mountney, 2006; Rodriguez-Lopez et al., 2008). Moreover, the presence of current and wave ripples at the bottomsets, and the presence of mica flakes and plant remains in the bottomsets and in the lower part of the foresets are common features in wet aeolian interdunes, which develop as the result of a rapid rise of the water-table due to occasional fluvial inundations, ephemeral flash flooding from rainfall events, or in coastal settings by spring tides, storms, or periods of low air pressure (e.g. Kocurek, 1981; Langford, 1989; Langford and Chan, 1989; Mountney, 2006; Rodriguez-Lopez et al., 2008; Tripaldi and Limarino, 2008).

Therefore, all these features suggest that the cross-bedded sandstones bodies of this association were aeolian in origin, locally affected by ephemeral water courses. The aeolian deposits could have been affected by tides, as reported in other modern and ancient environments with tidal-aeolian interactions (e.g. Fryberger et al., 1990; Rodriguez-Lopez et al., 2012).

[FIGURE 9 OMITTED]

5. Depositional system and evolution of the studied units in the Benageber area

The vertical arrangement of all the facies associations from the three studied units (Fig. 3) indicates the gradual shallowing upwards of a carbonate platform that progressively evolved into a complex coastal system.

The Higueruelas Fm started to develop in a mid-carbonate platform under the fair-weather wave base and above the storm wave base, where subtidal oncolitic shoals migrated by the action of storm currents (F1). These shoals protected calm areas where invertebrate organisms produced abundant fecal pellets (F2A; facies subassociation A1). Upwards, oncolitic shoals progressively developed in the inner-carbonate platform, above the fair-weather wave base and in normal marine salinity waters, as indicated by the continuous concentric laminae of oncoid cortices (F3) and the wave ripples observed in the rippled peloidal deposits (F2B; facies subassociation A2). Gradually, peloidal and bioclastic shoals (F4) migrated in the inner-carbonate platform, where oncoid development was progressively decreasing as it is indicated by the thickness reduction of oncoid cortices.

The Higueruelas Fm transitionally changed upwards to the Villar del Arzobispo Fm when siliciclastic inputs from continental areas started to occur. Siliciclastic discharges were related to the tectonic activity associated with the beginning of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous rifting phase (Aurell et al., 1994; Mas et al., 2004) and they implied several and rapid changes in the sedimentation and configuration of the platform. The arrival of siliciclastic discharges to the platform (facies association C), probably coming from the Iberian and Valencian Massifs located westwards and northwards of the basin, respectively (Mas et al., 2004), favored the nucleation of ooids, whereas the oncoid production ceased. Storms probably reworked these continental siliciclastic discharges as suggested by predominant transport directions towards the NW (see paleocurrent data in Fig. 5B; facies association C), which was the pathway of hurricanes in the Late Jurassic (Marsaglia and DeVries, 1983; Badenas and Aurell, 2001a). Ooids migrated in shoals and protected a shallow lagoon (Fig. 9), in which fecal pellets were produced by invertebrate organisms and micrite accumulated (facies subassociation D1). Progressively, sedimentation took place in shallower and inner areas of the platform that underwent common subaerial exposure. These areas were affected by siliciclastic discharges and freshwater inputs from continental areas, with a general transport towards the east, which caused a progressive decrease in salinity and the consequent change in biota (facies subassociation D2). During the last stages of the Villar del Arzobispo Fm, sedimentation took place in a shallow, brackish and protected lagoon affected by the arrival of neighboring marine carbonate deposits transported by storms and also by the arrival of continental siliciclastic discharges, which also show a sense of transport with paleocurrents towards the east (facies association E).

The Aldea de Cortes Fm deposits have been interpreted in this study as developed in a low gradient complex coastal plain where multifaceted environments have been recognized (Fig. 9): i) flood plain areas that were periodically flooded and desiccated, with significant development of vegetation (facies association F); ii) shallow and ephemeral water bodies influenced by both fresh and marine waters, as it is suggested by the presence of carbonate deposits containing fossils of freshwater affinity (charophytes) and quartz grains, but also fossils of marine affinity (ostreids, scarce forams, echinoderms, and ooids), which would have been transported from the continent and from marine areas, respectively, during storm or flooding episodes (facies association H); iii) siliciclastic discharges coming from elevated continental areas and transported by ephemeral currents (facies association F and G); and, iv) aeolian dunes and interdunes (facies association I).

All these features suggest that sedimentation of the Aldea de Cortes Fm took place in a "coastal wetland" (sensu Suarez-Gonzalez et al., 2015), because it includes numerous sedimentological features that characterize this type of depositional system: shallow-water facies containing both continental and marine fossils, common subaerial exposure, edaphic features, and complex distribution of interbedded continental, transitional, and marine deposits. Mas (1981), Mas and Alonso (1981), and Mas et al. (1982) and interpreted the unit, in the study area, as deposited in a lagoon surrounded by a tidal flat environment which, in turn, was surrounded by a fluvial deltaic plain. Specifically, these authors interpreted the carbonate deposits of this unit as developed in a lagoon. However, these carbonate deposits contain abundant charophytes and marine fossils and occur interbedded with siliciclastic mudstone with common edaphic features. These features indicate deposition in shallow to very shallow water bodies in a low gradient and vegetated coastal plain, which was easily flooded by both fresh and marine waters rather than in a lagoon. In addition, these authors interpreted that the lagoon was surrounded by tidal flats (Mas, 1981; Mas and Alonso, 1981; Mas et al. 1982). In this sense, although local tidal influence in the aeolian deposits is not excluded (facies association I), other typical facies associations of tide-dominated environments, such as tidal channels, tidal bars or sand flats (e.g. Dalrymple, 2010), have not been observed. Moreover, these authors also interpreted that fluvial deltaic plains surrounded the tidal flat-lagoon environments (Mas, 1981; Mas et al. 1982; Mas and Alonso, 1981). Deposition in a delta system would require the presence of distributary channel deposits (e.g. Bhattacharya, 2006; 2010) and these have not been observed. Nevertheless, it should not be discarded that the coastal wetland could have been part of a larger deltaic system, as reported in several modern and ancient examples (e.g. Calder et al, 2006; Rygel, et al., 2006; Sasser et al., 2009; Wolanski et al., 2009; Woodroffe and Davies, 2009).

Concerning the contact between the Villar del Arzobispo and the Aldea de Cortes Fms, previous studies have interpreted it as an unconformity (Fig. 2A; Mas, 1981; Mas et al., 1982; Mas and Alonso, 1981; Mas et al., 1984; Aurell et al., 1994; Mas et al., 2004). However, the detail study of both units strongly suggests a gradual transition between them, which thus would have been laterally related, because no evidence of an unconformity has been observed, and because the sedimentological and paleontological features observed in the upper deposits of the Villar del Arzobispo Fm (facies associations E) are similar to those observed in the Aldea de Cortes Fm (facies association H), although with increasing freshwater input in the last.

In sum, the sedimentary succession studied here corresponded to a complex and dynamic system formed by a mosaic of diverse shallow-marine and coastal facies (cf. Wilkinson and Drummond, 2004; Suarez-Gonzalez et al., 2015), as it has been reported in numerous modern systems, such as Bahamas (e.g. Bathurst, 1975; Reijmer et al., 2009; Kaczmareck et al., 2010; Harris et al., 2015), Persian Gulf (e.g. Wagner and Van der Togt, 1973; Wilkinson and Drummond, 2004), Antigua (e.g. Wilkinson and Drummond, 2004) and Gulf of Batabano (e.g. Daetwyler and Kidwell, 1959; Hoskins, 1964). These modern environments show a wide range of different sediment types, which are commonly complexly distributed due to the combination of multiple factors such as differences in tectonics, subsidence rate, salinity variations, intensity of currents, water turbulence, mean water depth, nutrients availability, and climatic conditions, among others, as it is explained in the articles previously mentioned.

[FIGURE 10 OMITTED]

6. Remarks on larger foraminifera. Revisiting the age of the studied units at the Benageber area.

The detailed sedimentological study presented in this work has also brought to light new and interesting paleontological data that have important implications for the poorly constrained age of the studied units. In the lower part of the Villar del Arzobispo Fm several carbonate beds yield abundant sections of a larger foraminifer that has been attributed to the genus Alveosepta Hottinger (type species: Cyclammina jaccardi Schrodt, 1894). It is characterized by its finely agglutinated, compressed shell with strong dimorphism. In the adult growth stages, the chambers are planispiral arranged in both A--and B--generations, but in the juvenile stages of B-forms they are streptospiral. The external wall presents exoskeleton elements constituted by beams and rafters forming a subepidermal network covered by a fine epidermis, which in contrast with other contemporaneous genera like Pseudocyclammina Yabe and Hanzawa, prolong to the septa (structured septa in Hottinger, 1967). The main foramina are large and placed at the base of the septa, but some small foramina are irregularly distributed in the median part of the septa interrupting the epidermis. Alveosepta lacks endoskeleton. The age attributed to the genus Alveosepta is late Oxfordian-Kim-meridgian (Bassoullet, 1997; Loeblich and Tappan, 1987).

The specimens found in the Villar del Arzobispo Formation are attributed in this paper to A. personata (Tobler, 1928), a species considered synonymous of A. jaccardi by Maync (1960), but with a looser spire than A. jaccardi type (Fig. 10). After Hottinger (1967) and Bassoullet (1997) A. personata, which was described as A. jaccardi from the Suisse Jura, seems to characterize a younger stratigraphical level than A. jaccardi (see Fig. 40 in Hottinger, 1967). However, further detailed studies are needed in continuous series with abundant larger foraminifer populations to prove each replacement in time. If the specimens mentioned by Viallard (1973) and Ramirez del Pozo (Assens et al., 1973) in the underlying deposits of the Higueruelas Fm are the true A. jaccardi or not remains without answer, because no good figurations are given by these authors.

The specimens of A. personata are represented mainly by A-forms, but B-forms are also present. The A-forms consists of a complex embryo followed by at least two whorls of planispiral chambers; the first whorl has 7-8 chambers; the second has 10-11 and the incomplete third whorl about 2-3 chambers. These measurements coincide with those given by Hottinger (1967) from A. personata from the Jura and from Morocco (see plates 15 and 16 in Hottinger, 1967, for comparison).

The Villar del Arzobispo Fm has been attributed to an age of Late Tithonian-Middle Berriasian by Aurell et al. (1994) and Mas et al. (2004). However, the paleontological data obtained in this study indicate that at least the age of the lower part of the Villar del Arzobispo Fm is Kimmeridgian, while the age of the upper part may be Tithonian (since Ramirez del Pozo mentioned Anchispirocyclina in Assens et al., 1973), although the typical tithonian fauna has not been found (Fig. 2B). Thus, the age of the underlying unit, the Higueruelas Fm, should not be younger than Kimmeridgian (Fig. 2B), instead of Tithonian, as assigned by Aurell et al. (1994).

The Aldea de Cortes Fm has previously been attributed to a Valanginian-Hauterivian age without paleontological justification because it lacks paleontological content which allows an accurate dating of the unit (Mas, 1981; Mas et al., 1982; 2004; Mas and Alonso, 1981). However, the beginning of the deposition of the Aldea de Cortes Fm should be attributed to an age not younger than Tithonian, at least in the area of Benageber, as the contact between the Villar del Arzobispo and the Aldea de Cortes Fms has been revealed to be transitional and not unconformable, as suggested in previous studies.

The stratigraphical and sedimentological contributions provided in this work involve important chronostratigraphical and paleogeographical implications, which would affect the correct dating of the beginning of the South Iberian Basin sedimentary infill. In this sense, the Kimmeridgian age of the Villar del Arzobispo Fm fits better with the Kimmeridgian age proposed by Salas et al. (2001) for the climax of the Late Jurassic rifting stage in the Iberian Basin; in fact this rifting stage led to significant increasing of siliciclastic inputs into the carbonate platforms, as occurred in the Villar del Arzobispo Fm. Moreover, these new data encourage reviewing the nomenclature and stratigraphic framework of the Villar del Arzobispo and Aldea de Cortes Fms, as well as the previously proposed stratigraphic correlations between the studied units and those deposited in adjacent areas of the Iberian Basin, such as in the Maestrat Basin (Salas et al., 2001; Mas et al., 2004).

These implications would also have repercussions on the dating of the dinosaur sites discovered in the Villar del Arzobispo Fm in this Basin (e.g. Santisteban et al., 2002; Suner et al., 2008; Santisteban et al., 2008; Pereda et al., 2009; Royo-Torres et al., 2009; Cobos et al., 2010), with an age range Kimmeridgian-Tithonian, and of the historical sites from the Benageber area included here in the Aldea de Cortes Fm. In this regard Trullenque (1915) announced the presence of reptilian bones and assigned them to the Jurassic. Later, Royo y Gomez and other authors considered other dinosaur remains of Benageber as "wealdian" (see Royo y Gomez 1926a; 1926b; Perez-Garcia et al., 2009), but finally, in 1927, Royo y Gomez reassigned the dinosaur remains to the "Purbeck" instead of the "Weald". Therefore, the data provided in the present work corroborate the results given by Royo y Gomez in 1927 because, as discussed in this article, the Aldea de Cortes Fm may be considered part of the regressive trend (Aurell et al., 1994) of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous cycle; thus, facies of the Aldea de Cortes Fm seem to be correlatable with siliclastic-dominated deposits of the middle and upper part of the Villar del Arzobispo Fm in surrounding areas of the South Iberan Basin, such as its type section (Mas et al., 1984) and the Riodeva area (Luque et al., 2005; Campos-Soto et al., 2015).

7. Conclusions

The detail study of the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous deposits of the Benageber area (South Iberian Basin, E Spain) has led to new sedimentological and chronostratigraphical interpretations:

--The Higueruelas and Villar del Arzobispo Fms were deposited in a prograding carbonate platform affected by storms with an upwards decrease in oncoid development and increase in siliciclastic discharges from continental areas. In turn, the carbonate platform progressively evolved into a coastal wetland system (Aldea de Cortes Fm) affected by the arrival of continental siliciclastic discharges and migration of aeolian dunes.

--The transition between the Higueruelas and the Villar del Arzobispo Fms was gradual but took place rapidly because the arrival of the continental siliciclastic discharges ceased the oncoid production in the carbonate platform. Then, deposition of oolitic shoals and lagoonal marl took place in the inner platform-lagoon and salinities decreased, contributing to a progressive change in the biota.

--The transition between the Villar del Arzobispo and the Aldea de Cortes Fms has been reinterpreted here as gradual, instead of unconformable as interpreted before, due to several evidences: 1) the arrangement of the facies associations of both units shows a gradual transition between them; 2) the fossil remains observed in the upper part of the Villar del Arzobispo Fm are similar to those of the Aldea de Cortes Fm, both indicating influence of both fresh and marine waters, although with increasing freshwater input in the latter, in accordance with the overall Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous prograding trend. Thus, the Aldea de Cortes Fm should be considered part of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous cycle.

--The presence of the benthic foraminifer Alveosepta personata in the lower part of the Villar del Arzobispo Fm suggests that the lower part of the unit should be assigned to the Kimmeridgian in the Benageber area, instead of Late Tithonian-Middle Berriasian (Aurell et al., 1994; Mas et al., 2004). Consequently, the age of the Higueruelas Fm should not be younger than Kimmeridgian, instead of Tithonian (Aurell et al., 1994), and the beginning of the deposition of the Aldea de Cortes Fm should be attributed to an age not younger than Tithonian, instead of Valanginian (e.g. Mas, 1981; Mas and Alonso, 1981; Mas et al., 1982).

--These new data encourage revising the previously proposed stratigraphic correlations between the studied units and those deposited in adjacent areas of the Iberian Basin.

http://dx.doi.org/10.5209/rev_JIGE.2016.v42.n1.51920

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Spanish projects CGL2011-22709, CGL2014-52670-P and CGL2013-41295-P DINO-TUR of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, the "Sedimentary Basin Analysis" Research Group of the Complutense University of Madrid and a FPU predoctoral contract of the Spanish Ministry of Education. We thank Dr. Ramon Salas and an anonymous reviewer for their comments, which have improved the paper. We thank also the IGEO and the Department of Stratigraphy of the Complutense University of Madrid for their technical support, especially to B. Moral, J.C. Salamanca and A. Anton for preparation of thin sections, V. Lopez for help with GIS, and L. Donadeo for bibliographic support. We are grateful to R. Royo-Torres for sharing with us his broad knowledge about the geology of the area and for the scientific discussions. We also thank I. Bucur for classifying the dasycladacean algae, M. Reolid for his help with incrustant organisms and C. Martin-Closas for his comments on charophytes.

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S. Campos-Soto (1,2) *, M. I. Benito (1,2), R. Mas (1,2), E. Caus (3), A. Cobos (4), P. Suarez Gonzalez (1,2), I. E. Quijada (5)

(1) Departamento de Estratigrafia, Facultad de Ciencias Geologicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain

(2) Instituto de Geociencias IGEO (CSIC, UCM), C/ Jose Antonio Novais 12, 28040 Madrid, Spain

(3) Departament de Geologia (Unitat de Paleontologia), Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 08193 Cerdanyola del Valles, Spain.

(4) Fundacion Conjunto Paleontologico de Teruel-Dinopolis, Avda. Sagunto, 44002 Teruel, Spain

(5) Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Oviedo, C/Jesus Arias de Velasco s/n, 33005 Oviedo, Spain.

e-mail addresses: sonia.campos.soto@ucm.es (S.C-S. * Corresponding author); mibenito@ucm.es (M.I.B.); ramonmas@ucm.es (R.M.); esmeralda. caus@uab.es (E.C.); cobos@dinopolis.com (A.C.); pablosuarez@ucm.es (P.S-G.); emma@geol.uniovi.es (I.E.Q.)

Received: 18 February 2016 / Accepted: 13 April 2016 / Available online: 30 April 2016
Table 1.--Facies distinguished in the stratigraphic sections ACE and
ACW.

FACIES                                            COMPONENTS

F1. Oncolitic packstone                  Oncoids (mainly discontinuous
                                           laminae), fecal pellets,
                                         small agglutinated forams and
                                            miliolids, fragments of
                                            serpulids, echinoderms,
                                         ostreids and other bivalves,
                                           gastropods, brachiopods,
                                              corals and sponges.

                                          Fecal pellets, scarce small
                                            agglutinated forams and
   F2A. Peloidal packstone                miliolids. Scarce fragments
                                           of bivalves, brachiopods,
                                          echinoderms and ostracods.
F2.
                                         Fecal pellets, minor micritic
                                           intraclasts, scarce small
   F2B. Rippled peloidal packstone          agglutinated forams and
                                            miliolids, fragments of
                                            bivalves, brachiopods,
                                         echinoderms, serpulids, ooids
                                              and quartz grains.

F3. Oncolitic packstone-grainstone        Oncoids (mainly continuous
and grainstone                             laminae), fecal pellets,
                                          micritic intraclasts, small
                                          agglutinated forams, small
                                            miliolids, fragments of
                                             gastropods, bivalves
                                              (ostreids and other
                                            bivalves), brachiopods,
                                             corals, echinoderms,
                                         chaetetids, stromatoporoids,
                                            sponges and serpulids.

F4. Peloidal and bioclastic               Fecal pellets, fragments of
packstone-grainstone                       echinoderms, brachiopods,
                                         bivalves (ostreids and other
                                              bivalves), corals,
                                          gastropods, sponges, small
                                          agglutinated forams, small
                                         miliolids, solenoporacean red
                                            algae and intraclasts.
                                           Bioclasts and intraclasts
                                              show incipient thin
                                         continuous oncolitic laminae.

                                          Quartz, feldspar, micritic
                                         intraclasts, minor muscovite,
                          F5A              biotite, chlorite, scarce
                                         tourmaline and plant remains.
F5. Very fine to                         Locally contains up to 15% of
fine-grained sandstone                      bioclasts (fragments of
                                         ostreids and other bivalves,
                                            echinoderms, serpulids,

                          F5B              brachiopods, gastropods,
                                          small agglutinated forams,
                                         small miliolids, sponges) and
                                                    ooids.

F6. Oolitic packstone-grainstone          Ooids, quartz grains, small
                                            and large agglutinated
                                           forams, small miliolids,
                                           fragments of gastropods,
                                             echinoderms, bivalves
                                          dasycladales, intraclasts,
                                           fecal pellets and scarce
                                                   oncoids.

F7. Mudstone                                Scarce small and large
                                          agglutinated forams, small
                                            miliolids, fragments of
                                             bivalves, gastropods,
                                         brachiopods and echinoderms.

                                         Small and large agglutinated
                                           forams, small miliolids,
                                          trocholinids, fragments of
                                           echinoderms, gastropods,
                                           serpulids, dasycladales,
                                             bivalves, ostracods,
                          F8A              solenoporacean red algae,
                                           ostreids, quartz grains,
F8. Bioclastic and                       fecal pellets, scarce ooids,
peloidal packstone and                      oncoids and vertebrate
packstone-grainstone                               remains.

                                          Quartz grains, fragments of
                                            charophytes, ostracods,
                          F8B              gastropods, ostreids and
                                            other bivalves, scarce
                                              echinoderms, small
                                            agglutinated forams and
                                             miliolids, vertebrate
                                            remains, fecal pellets,
                                         intraclasts and scarce ooids.
                                             Locally, fragments of
                                            bivalves are rounded to
                                                  subrounded.

F9. Marl                                  Siliciclastic mudstone and
                                                    micrite

F10. Siliciclastic mudstone                 Siliciclastic mudstone

                          F11A

                          F11B            Quartz, feldspar, micritic
F11. Very fine-to                        intraclasts, minor muscovite,
mediumgrained sandstone                    biotite, chlorite, scarce
                                         tourmaline and plant remains.

                          F11C

                          F12A. Fine-     Quartz, feldspar, micritic
                          to medium-     intraclasts, minor muscovite,
                          grained           biotite and tourmaline.
F12. Cross-bedded
sandstone                 F12B.           Quartz, feldspar, micritic
                          Coarse-to      intraclasts, minor muscovite,
                          very coarse-      biotite and tourmaline.
                          grained         Scatter carbonate pebbles.

F13. Cross-bedded conglomerate           Carbonate clasts (0.2-1.6 cm
                                         in diameter) within a coarse
                                         to very coarse sandy matrix,
                                          large fossil plant trunks,
                                                    ooids.

F14. Massive clast-supported                Carbonate and quartzite
conglomerate                             clasts (0.2-5 cm in diameter)
                                               within a fine to
                                         medium-grained sandy matrix.
                                         Fragments of bivalves, ooids,
                                         vertebrate remains and large
                                             fossil plant trunks.

                          F15A           Quartz, feldspar, muscovite,
                                         biotite, chlorite. Muddy soft
                                          pebbles and plant remains.

F15. Fine--to
Medium-grained well to
very well-sorted,
cross-bedded sandstone

                          F15B

FACIES                                           STRUCTURES

F1. Oncolitic packstone                   Large-scale cross-bedding

   F2A. Peloidal packstone                       Not observed

F2.

   F2B. Rippled peloidal packstone       Wave and/or current ripples

F3. Oncolitic packstone-grainstone               Not observed
and grainstone

F4. Peloidal and bioclastic               Large-scale cross-bedding
packstone-grainstone

                          F5A             Parallel lamination (plane
F5. Very fine to                                     bed)
fine-grained sandstone
                          F5B             Large-scale cross-bedding

F6. Oolitic packstone-grainstone          Large-scale cross-bedding

F7. Mudstone                                   Not observed

                          F8A              Thalassinoides-like and
F8. Bioclastic and                           Rhyzocoralium traces
peloidal packstone and
packstone-grainstone      F8B            Thalassinoides-like traces.
                                          Locally, bivalves oriented
                                             parallel to bedding.

F9. Marl                                         Not observed

F10. Siliciclastic mudstone                  Grey and red colors.
                                           Carbonate nodules. Green
                                                  mottling.

                          F11A           Current and
                                         wave ripples

                          F11B           Large-scale      Locally
F11. Very fine-to                        cross-bedding    Thalas-
medium-grained sandstone                                  sinoides-
                          F11C           Parallel         like trace
                                         lamination
                                         (plane bed)

                          F12A. Fine-
                          to medium-
                          grained
F12. Cross-bedded                               Sigmoidal-like
sandstone                 F12B.                 stratification
                          Coarse-to
                          very coarse-
                          grained

F13. Cross-bedded conglomerate            Large-scale cross-bedding

F14. Massive clast-supported                   Not observed
conglomerate

                          F15A                Wedge-shaped sets
                                          Large-scale cross-bedding
                                           High angle foresets Low
                                           angle foresets and large
                                              lateral continuous
F15. Fine--to                              bottomsets. Bottomsets and
medium-grained well to                    occasionally the lower part
very well-sorted,                         of the low angle foresets
cross-bedded sandstone                    draped by mica flakes and
                                                plant remains
                                            Reactivation surfaces

                          F15B           Wave and current ripples at
                                                the bottomsets

FACIES                                   ENVIRONMENTAL INTERPRETATION

F1. Oncolitic packstone                   Transport by unidirectional
                                          tractive currents below the
                                          fair-weather wave base and
                                          above the storm wave base,
                                         under normal marine salinity
                                          waters. Alternance of high
                                          and low agitation periods.

                                          Production of fecal pellets
   F2A. Peloidal packstone                 in low-agitation waters.

F2.

   F2B. Rippled peloidal packstone           Fecal pellets, minor
                                            intraclasts and fossil
                                         remains reworked by wave and
                                              tractive currents.

F3. Oncolitic packstone-grainstone        Transport by continuously
and grainstone                            agitated currents above the
                                          fair-weather wave base and
                                         under normal marine salinity
                                                    waters.
F4. Peloidal and bioclastic              Transport by unidirectional
packstone-grainstone                     tractive currents above the
                                          fair-weather wave base and
                                         under normal marine salinity
                                                    waters.

                          F5A               Transport by upper flow
F5. Very fine to                           regime tractive currents.
fine-grained sandstone
                          F5B               Transport by lower flow
                                             regime unidirectional
                                              tractive currents.

F6. Oolitic packstone-grainstone          Transport by unidirectional
                                          tractive currents above the
                                          fair-weather wave base and
                                          under marine normal waters.
                                             Siliciclastic input.

F7. Mudstone                               Micrite precipitation and
                                            accumulation under calm
                                                  conditions.

                          F8A               Transport by episodic
                                            currents. Siliciclastic
F8. Bioclastic and                                  input
peloidal packstone and
packstone-grainstone      F8B                Transport by episodic
                                         currents and locally reworked
                                             by tractive currents.
                                          Influence of both fresh and
                                           seawaters. Siliciclastic
                                                    input.

                                          Suspended-load decantation
F9. Marl                                  processes and CaC[O.sub.3]
                                                precipitation.

F10. Siliciclastic mudstone               Suspended-load decantation
                                            and edaphic alteration.

                          F11A               Transport by tractive
                                                   currents.

                          F11B              Transport by lower flow
F11. Very fine-to                            regime unidirectional
medium-grained sandstone                      tractive currents.

                          F11C              Transport by upper flow
                                           regime tractive currents.

                          F12A. Fine-
                          to medium-
                          grained         Sediment entering stagnant
F12. Cross-bedded                         water bodies transported by
sandstone                 F12B.             tractive currents (i.e.
                          Coarse-to            sediment lobes).
                          very coarse-
                          grained

F13. Cross-bedded conglomerate            Transport by unidirectional
                                              tractive currents.

F14. Massive clast-supported              Transport by ephemeral
conglomerate                                    currents

                          F15A           Deposition of aeolian dunes.
                                             Local decantation of
F15. Fine--to                                 suspended load in wet
medium-grained well to                            interdunes.
very well-sorted,
cross-bedded sandstone    F15B              Reworking by waves and
                                           tractive currents in wet
                                                  interdunes.

Table 2.-Facies associations distinguished in the stratigraphic
sections ACE and ACW.

FACIES ASSOCIATION                               FACIES

Higueruelas Fm

                                    Oncolitic packstone facies (F1),
                               A1    changing upwards gradually and
                                    rapidly to the peloidal packstone
                                              facies (F2A).
A: Oncolitic and peloidal
facies association

                                     Oncolitic packstone-grainstone
                                       and grainstone facies (F3)
                               A2    changing gradually and rapidly
                                     upwards to the rippled peloidal
                                            packstone (F2B).

                                         Peloidal and bioclastic
B: Peloidal and bioclastic          packstone-grainstone facies (F4)
facies association                  changing gradually and rapidly to
                                     the rippled peloidal packstone
                                              facies (F2B).

Villar del Arzobispo Fm

                                        Very fine-to fine-grained
                                      sandstone displaying parallel
C: Sandstone facies                 lamination (F5A) at the base and
association                         large-scale cross-bedding at the
                                            upper part (F5B)

                                      Oolitic packstone-grainstone
                                     facies (F6) changing gradually
                               D1      and rapidly upwards to the
                                    peloidal packstone facies (F2A),
                                     the rippled peloidal packstone
D: Oolitic D1 and peloidal            facies (F2B) or the mudstone
facies association                             facies (F7)

                                      Oolitic packstone-grainstone
                               D2    facies (F6) changing gradually
                                      upwards to the bioclastic and
                                         peloidal packstone and
                                       packstone-grainstone facies
                                                 (F8A).

                                       Marl (F9), interbedded with
                                    bioclastic and peloidal packstone
E: Marl-limestone-sandstone          and packstone-grainstone facies
facies association                  (F8A) and occasionally with fine-
                                    to medium--grained sandstone (F11
                                                and F12A)

Aldea de Cortes Fm

F: Siliciclastic                      Siliciclastic mudstone (F10)
mudstone-sandstone facies           interbedded with minor very fine-
association                          to fine-grained sandstone (F11
                                                and F12A)

G: Coarse-to very                      Cross-bedded coarse-to very
coarse-grained sandstone and         coarse-grained sandstone (F12B)
conglomerate facies                   and conglomerate (F13, F14),
association                          interbedded with siliciclastic
                                             mudstone (F10)

                                         Peloidal packstone and
H: Limestone facies                    packstone-grainstone (F8B)
association                          interbedded with siliciclastic
                                             mudstone (F10)

                                     Fine-to medium-grained, well-to
I: Large-scale cross-bedded          very well-sorted, cross-bedded
sandstone facies association        sandstone (F15) interbedded with
                                      siliciclastic mudstone (F10)

FACIES ASSOCIATION                     ENVIRONMENTAL INTERPRETATION

Higueruelas Fm

                                      Oncoid shoals migrating by the
                               A1        action of storms in the
                                       mid-carbonate platform under
                                       marine normal waters. Oncoid
A: Oncolitic and peloidal           shoals protected calm areas where
facies association                   invertebrate organisms produced
                                              fecal pellets.

                                           Oncoid shoals in the
                                      inner-carbonate platform under
                               A2      marine normal waters. Oncoid
                                       shoals protected areas where
                                     invertebrate organisms produced
                                    fecal pellets, which were reworked
                                          by tractive currents.

                                    Bioclastic and peloidal shoals in
B: Peloidal and bioclastic          the inner-carbonate platform under
facies association                   marine normal waters. Bioclastic
                                      and peloidal shoals protected
                                    areas where invertebrate organisms
                                    produced fecal pellets, which were
                                      reworked by wave and tractive
                                                currents.

Villar del Arzobispo Fm

                                     Siliciclastic discharges coming
                                        from the emerged areas and
C: Sandstone facies                  deposited in the inner-carbonate
association                         platform, where they were reworked
                                                by storms.

                                     Oolitic shoals developed in the
                                      inner-carbonate platform under
                               D1    marine brackish waters. Oolitic
                                       shoals protected areas where
                                     invertebrate organisms produced
D: Oolitic D1 and peloidal           abundant fecal pellets and where
facies association                    micrite accumulated under calm
                                               conditions.

                                     Oolitic shoals developed in the
                               D2   inner part of a carbonate platform
                                       under marine brackish normal
                                     waters. Oolite shoals protected
                                       agitated areas that received
                                            freshwater inputs.

                                     Shallow, protected and brackish
                                    lagoon affected by the arrival of
E: Marl-limestone-sandstone            neighboring marine carbonate
facies association                  deposits transported by storms and
                                     also of siliciclastic discharges
                                       coming from elevated areas.

Aldea de Cortes Fm

F: Siliciclastic                        Flood plain that underwent
mudstone-sandstone facies           periodical subaerial exposure and
association                          development of vegetation, which
                                    received siliciclastic discharges
                                       coming from elevated areas.

G: Coarse-to very                    Siliciclastic discharges coming
coarse-grained sandstone and         from elevated continental areas,
conglomerate facies                 transported by ephemeral currents
association                          and deposited in a flood plain.

                                       Shallow and ephemeral water
H: Limestone facies                  bodies, influenced by both fresh
association                         and marine waters, developed in a
                                     coastal plain and formed during
                                       storms or flooding episodes.

                                      Aeolian dunes and interdunes.
I: Large-scale cross-bedded
sandstone facies association
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Title Annotation:texto en ingles
Author:Campos-Soto, S.; Benito, M.I.; Mas, R.; Caus, E.; Cobos, A.; Gonzalez, P. Suarez; Quijada, I.E.
Publication:Journal of Iberian Geology
Date:Jan 1, 2016
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