Genesis of a locality of exceptional fossil preservation: Paleoenvironments of Tepexi de Rodríguez (mid-Cretaceous, Puebla, Mexico)

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This study of Tepexi de Rodríguez (Puebla, Mexico), a mid-Cretaceous (Aptian?) locality with exceptional fossil preservation, combines statistically based microfacies-transition analysis with spectral analysis of depth-series measurements, in an attempt to constrain the paleoenvironmental setting. Tepexi de Rodríguez (Tepexi) is largely composed of laminated micrites, and presents a complex amalgam of primary and diagenetically altered fabrics. Modified Markov analysis of microfacies successions was used to assess repetitive patterns among primary microfacies. The reconstructed microfacies succession indicates recurring upward-fining sequences. Spectral analysis of depth-series measurements of magnetic susceptibility and RGB visible color (redness) reveals a pattern of repetition in the sedimentary sequence that is concordant with patterns of Milankovitch cyclicity. Strong eccentricity, obliquity, and semi-precessional signals are inferred. This suite of Milankovitch cyclicities is attributed to double-monsoon influences on Tepexi from both the northern and southern hemispheres, and implies an average rock accumulation rate of 2.0 cm/kyr. Previous reconstructions of Tepexi (e.g. a variety of back-reef lagoonal settings) do not match the observations reported here. Likewise, tidally influenced deposition is ruled out. Tepexi de Rodríguez appears to have been an open marine basin with storm-dominated sedimentation and bottom waters with restricted circulation. The fossil biota has a strong terrestrial influence, indicating that land was close by. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Cretaceous Research