, 64:22 | Cite as

Palynofacies associated to hyperpycnite deposits of the Miocene, Cabo Viamonte Beds, Austral Basin, Argentina

  • Mirta E. Quattrocchio
  • Daniela E. Olivera
  • Marcelo A. Martínez
  • Juan J. Ponce
  • Noelia B. Carmona
Original Article


The Miocene deposits in the Punta Basílica locality, southernmost Argentina, are included within the Cabo Viamonte Beds, Cabo Domingo Group, in the Austral foreland basin of Tierra del Fuego province. The prograding clinoform systems were accumulated during a weak compressional tectonic regime that allowed the development of a narrow shelf. Paleoenvironmental reconstructions suggest that these clinoforms comprise two dominant architectural elements, channel-levee and lobe complexes, formed mainly by density hyperpycnal currents in outer shelf to depositional slope environments. The transitional and recurrent (vertical and lateral) alternation between sedimentary structures without rheologic boundaries associated with the co-occurrence of plant remains (Nothofagus) are diagnostic criteria for the recognition of hyperpycnites. This type of density flow typically transports large volumes of sediment and organic matter from proximal to deep-marine settings. Four palynofacies types were recognized in a cluster analysis. In general, the palynofacies show predominance of spores and pollen grains, tissues, cuticles, and spongy to fibrous amorphous organic matter (plant and/or freshwater to brackish algae derived), which reflect different positions within the depositional system (e.g., levee-channel and lobe deposits). The co-occurrence of inshore (Batiacasphaera spp., Lingulodinium sp.) with relatively more oceanic (Operculodinium centrocarpum, Spiniferites spp.) dinoflagellates is a strong indication that shallow-water assemblages have been displaced into deep-water settings. Due to the presence of Lingulodinium hemicystum (first appearance data: 23.0 Ma.) and Pentadinium laticinctum (last appearance data: 11.6 Ma.) an age not older than Miocene and not younger than the Serravallian/Tortorian boundary for the Punta Basílica section is proposed.


Hyperpycnites Palynofacies Miocene Cabo Viamonte Beds Austral Basin Argentina 



We thank S. Candel, F. Ponce and M. Espié for their assistance during field work. The authors kindly acknowledge the reviews of Hartmut Jäger and George R. Dix and the comments of Editor-in-Chief Axel Munnecke, which improved the final version of the manuscript. Financial support was provided by Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas following Research Project: (PIP 417); Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (PICT 2011-1373); Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica-Universidad Nacional de Río Negro (PICTO-UNRN 2010-0199) and Secretaría General de Ciencia y Tecnología de la Universidad Nacional del Sur (PGI-24/H142).

Supplementary material

10347_2018_535_MOESM1_ESM.xls (31 kb)
Supplementary material 1. Seventeen organic matter types were distinguished for palynofacies analysis (XLS 31 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirta E. Quattrocchio
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daniela E. Olivera
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marcelo A. Martínez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Juan J. Ponce
    • 3
  • Noelia B. Carmona
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto Geológico del Sur-Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas CONICET), Departamento de Geología (UNS)Bahía BlancaArgentina
  2. 2.Departamento de GeologíaUniversidad Nacional del SurBahía BlancaArgentina
  3. 3.Instituto de Investigación en Paleobiología y Geología-Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Universidad Nacional de Río NegroGeneral RocaArgentina

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