DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5027/andgeoV46n3-3212

Fossil-diagenesis in dinosaurs remains preserved in fuvial deposits of the Lago Colhué Huapi Formation (Upper Cretaceous), Golfo San Jorge Basin, Argentina

Gabriel Andrés Casal, Adriana Mónica Nillni, Mauro Nicolás Valle, Jorge Ezequiel González Svoboda, María Celina Tiedemann, Helena Ciapparelli, Lucio Manuel Ibiricu, Marta Mabel Luiz

Abstract


New sedimentological and fossil-diagenetic information from remains of four dinosaurs is herein provided. The fossil material was preserved in deposits of different fluvial sub-environments from the middle section of the Lago Colhué Huapi Formation, Golfo San Jorge Basin. In all the studied cases, the bone structure originally constituted by hydroxyapatite was modified by ionic substitution to francolite. The fossil remains contained in fine lithoarenites with high clay minerals content, affected by lithostatic compression, exhibit plastic deformation and intense fracturing which affected the bone microstructure. The francolite presents cavernous texture with high crystallinity index and a lower carbonate content, evidencing processes of mineral dissolution in an acidic environment. The hematite is present as crusts and nodules on the surface of the bones and internally at the edges of the vascular channels. It is related to the precipitation of iron oxide in well oxygenated areas with fluctuating water table. The permineralization of the vascular channels with hematite and well-developed crystals of fluorapatite of neoformation, would have occurred during the early diagenesis. By contrast, the fossil remains contained in coarse lithoarenites with scarce clay minerals, have been less affected by lithostatic compression and are better preserved. The francolite exhibits a massive texture with a lower index of crystallinity and higher carbonate concentration. The permineralization of the vascular channels with hematite and well-developed crystals of calcite would have occurred in an alkaline environment during the late diagenesis. In the four study-cases it could be determined that the crystallinity indexes of the francolite and the carbonate content, display a positive correlation with the relative increase of fluorine content and the fragility of the fossil remains. Therefore, the sedimentological and fossil-diagenetic studies, in particular the permineralization processes in the vascular channels, enhance our understanding of the physical and chemical conditions that prevailed during the lithification and fossilization of the remains in different fluvial sub-environments from the Lago Colhué Huapi Formation.

Keywords


Fossil-diagenesis; Dinosaurs; Fluvial deposits; Upper Cretaceous

How to cite this article Casal, G.; Nillni, A.; Valle, M.; González Svoboda, J.; Tiedemann, M.; Ciapparelli, H.; Ibiricu, L.; Luiz, M. 2019, Fossil-diagenesis in dinosaurs remains preserved in fuvial deposits of the Lago Colhué Huapi Formation (Upper Cretaceous), Golfo San Jorge Basin, Argentina. Andean Geology 46 (3): 670-692. [doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.5027/andgeoV46n3-3212]

 

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