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Cephalopod associations and palaeoecology of the Cretaceous (Barremian–Cenomanian) succession of the Alpstein, northeastern Switzerland


Tajika, Amane; Kürsteiner, Peter; Pictet, Antoine; Lehmann, Jens; Tschanz, Karl; Jattiot, Romain; Klug, Christian (2017). Cephalopod associations and palaeoecology of the Cretaceous (Barremian–Cenomanian) succession of the Alpstein, northeastern Switzerland. Cretaceous research, 70:15-54.

Abstract

The Alpstein (cantons of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden and St. Gallen, northeastern Switzerland) has been of great interest for geologists over the last decades because of its excellent outcrops. However, there was no comprehensive overview over its Cretaceous fossil content. Here, we describe the cephalopod associations, which are moderately to highly diverse in some strata of the Alpstein. Furthermore, we document the regional palaeoecological changes that occurred during the radiation of heteromorph ammonites (ancyloceratids, scaphitids, turrilitids). To examine the palaeoecological changes, we quantitatively determined the macrofossil content of 11 associations of Barremian to early Cenomanian age. Here, we document 6 species (3 genera) of nautilids and 77 species (45 genera) of ammonoids (29 of the species are recorded from Switzerland for the first time). Our palaeoecological analyses revealed the disappearance of nektoplanktonic forms after the late Barremian to the middle early Aptian in the course of the development of a shallow carbonate platform. The upper lower Aptian to middle Albian strata were eroded due to successive emersion phases and condensation processes. In the late Albian, the number of nektoplanktonic species surged again with some benthos, followed by the Cenomanian fauna, which is dominated by nektoplanktonic elements including ammonites, belemnites and nautilids with only very little benthos. These results correlate well with the regional sea level fluctuations.

Abstract

The Alpstein (cantons of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden and St. Gallen, northeastern Switzerland) has been of great interest for geologists over the last decades because of its excellent outcrops. However, there was no comprehensive overview over its Cretaceous fossil content. Here, we describe the cephalopod associations, which are moderately to highly diverse in some strata of the Alpstein. Furthermore, we document the regional palaeoecological changes that occurred during the radiation of heteromorph ammonites (ancyloceratids, scaphitids, turrilitids). To examine the palaeoecological changes, we quantitatively determined the macrofossil content of 11 associations of Barremian to early Cenomanian age. Here, we document 6 species (3 genera) of nautilids and 77 species (45 genera) of ammonoids (29 of the species are recorded from Switzerland for the first time). Our palaeoecological analyses revealed the disappearance of nektoplanktonic forms after the late Barremian to the middle early Aptian in the course of the development of a shallow carbonate platform. The upper lower Aptian to middle Albian strata were eroded due to successive emersion phases and condensation processes. In the late Albian, the number of nektoplanktonic species surged again with some benthos, followed by the Cenomanian fauna, which is dominated by nektoplanktonic elements including ammonites, belemnites and nautilids with only very little benthos. These results correlate well with the regional sea level fluctuations.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:14 Oct 2016 14:50
Last Modified:23 Nov 2017 01:39
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0195-6671
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2016.09.010

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