, 64:6 | Cite as

The Antimonio ramp in Sonora, Mexico

A shallow-marine Upper Triassic mixed siliciclastic carbonate ramp system
  • Eric Heerwagen
  • Rossana Martini
Original Article


The Upper Permian to Lower Jurassic El Antimonio Group has been considered as part of the NW–SE-trending tectonostratigraphic Antimonio terrane in Sonora, Mexico. The Upper Triassic Rio Asunción Formation of the El Antimonio Group comprises a shallow-marine detrital-carbonate succession at three major localities near Caborca and Hermosillo. Previous reconstructions have proposed differing depositional environments for the Rio Asunción Formation (e.g., carbonate platform, carbonate ramp) and remained therefore nonconsensual. The present study has its focus on the Rio Asunción Formation and includes the analyses of 129 thin-sections of carbonate and mixed siliciclastic–carbonate rocks from three localities (Barra los Tanques, Sierra del Álamo, and Sierra Santa Teresa). In Sierra del Álamo, ammonite findings allowed us to confirm the position of the Triassic–Jurassic boundary. Considering the lack of biostratigraphic markers and the clastic nature of the samples, a statistical approach was used to propose a depositional model that can provide more detailed insights into this sedimentary succession. Hierarchical cluster analyses were performed on the gathered abundance data to identify microfacies and to compare the results for each outcrop. Through these analyses, 22 microfacies were defined, which describe the depositional environments of the two main localities. Furthermore, it could be demonstrated through this approach that not only the localities of Barra los Tanques and Sierra del Álamo but also the outcrops near Sierra Santa Teresa belong to the Antimonio depositional system. To gain insights into the relative depositional conditions among the microfacies, non-metric multidimensional scaling was performed. The resulting trends of water energy and proximity to the shoreline of Laurentia were then used to propose a depositional model for the mixed siliciclastic–carbonate Antimonio ramp system.


Antimonio Sonora Mexico Upper Triassic Multivariate analysis Microfacies Carbonate ramp Biostratigraphy 



The authors thank Carlos M. González-León, Thierry Calmus, Martín Valencia Moreno, and the staff of the Geosciences Department of the UNAM for their help in the planning of and support during the field campaign. In addition, thanks are extended to Christian Meister of the Natural History Museum of Geneva for identification of the sampled ammonites, and to George Stanley Jr. for the determination of the corals that were found during the field campaign. I thank Sylvain Rigaud for field assistance and reviewing. Additional thanks for reviewing and improving the manuscript go to George Stanley Jr. and the anonymous reviewer. Special thanks go to Sam Carmalt for language editing. The field work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (Grant # 200020-137661 to R. Martini).

Supplementary material

10347_2018_519_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (36.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 82 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland

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