Taphonomy of Recent Bioclastic Deposits from the Southern Brazil Shelf: Stratigraphic Potential

  • Fernando ErthalEmail author
  • Matias do Nascimento Ritter
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 48)


In the Southern Brazil Shelf (SBS), surface bioclastic concentrations are associated with putative paleo-shorelines formed where wave ravinement surfaces are probably present. From the late Last Glacial Maximum, the SBS can be considered a sediment-starved passive margin continental shelf, with its morphostructural development fairly known. There, fourteen molluscan shell samples from near shelf-break deposits (“distal shell-rich”), eleven from proximal, low depth bioclastic deposits (“proximal shell-rich”) and ten samples from sandy substrate (“shell-poor”) were evaluated for taphonomic damage accordingly to updated protocols. Multivariate statistical analysis showed significant differences between the three groups of shelly samples. Low-intensity damage states (such as natural bright and ornamentation) dominate samples from the distal shell-rich deposit, whereas the inverse occurs in the proximal deposit (samples from the shell-poor locations present an intermediate damage pattern). This pattern is consistent either with onlap/toplap and backlap shell bed formation, according to characteristics determined in the literature. The condition of these three areas may reflect degrees of exposure at the taphonomically-active zone, the magnitude of time averaging and duration of shell accumulation, and even the lack of shelf accommodation space, which in turn is related to glacioeustatic sea-level oscillations.


Time-averaging Stratigraphic paleobiology Coquina Shell preservation Onlap deposits 



This paper greatly benefited from comments and discussion with several people: I. C. S. Corrêa and E. R. Beltram (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul), R. S. Horodyski (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos), M. L. Assine (Universidade Estadual Paulista at Rio Claro), and M. G. Simões (Universidade Estadual Paulista at Botucatu). Brazil funding agencies (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—CAPES, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico—CNPq), and Petroleum National Agency (ANP) partly funded this research.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Paleontologia e Estratigrafia, Instituto de Geociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Estudos Costeiros, Limnológicos e Marinhos, Campus Litoral Norte, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulImbéBrazil

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