Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

Volumen 64, núm. 3, 2012, p. 305-318

Morphological Abnormalities and Dwarfism in Maastrichtian Foraminifera from the Cárdenas Formation, Valles–San Luis Potosí Platform, Mexico: evidence of paleoenvironmental stress

Lourdes Omaña1,*, Gloria Alencáster2, José Ramón Torres Hernández3, Rubén López Doncel3

1 Posgrado en Ciencias de la Tierra, Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, C.P. 04510, México, D.F
2 Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, C.P. 04510, México, D.F.
3 Instituto de Geología, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Av. Dr. Manuel Nava 5, C.P. 78240, San Luis Potosí, S.L.P.

* This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


During the early Maastrichtian an assemblage rich in large foraminifera, mostly composed of orbitoidal foraminifera, developed in the shallow-water deposits of the Cárdenas Formation (Valles–San Luis Potosí Platform, Mexico). Among them, the most abundant is Lepidorbitoides minima, some of which display a morphologically abnormal test consisting of polyvalent forms, conical tests and budding, which could be induced by abrupt changes in environmental factors. The occurrence of the abnormalities preceded the demise of this species and of all the larger foraminiferal association in the upper part of the Gansserina gansseriZone (early Maastrichtian). The abnormalities could be induced by environmental stress, probably related to interplay of different events such as increased terrigenous input and the transition to deeper facies due to Laramide tectonic instability before the K/P boundary.

A late Maastrichtian community of dwarfed planktic foraminifera composed of Trinitella scotti Brönnimann, Plummerita reicheli Brönnimann, Rugoglobigerina cf. macrocephala Brönnimann, Rugoglobigerina hexacamerata Brönnimann, Heterohelix punctulata (Cushman), Pseudoguembelina costulata (Cushman), Pseudotextularia intermedia de Klasz, Globigerinelloides asperus Bolli, Guembelitria cretacea Cushman, Rugoglobigerina rugosa (Plummer), Rugotruncana sp., Globotruncanita stuarti (de Lapparent), and Globotruncana arca (Cushman) developed in the upper part of the sequence. This uncommon morphology could also be related to the highly stressed paleoenvironmental conditions related to global climatic change and local tectonic activity. Associated with this planktic assemblage is a deeper-water dwarfed benthic foraminiferal community composed of Gyroidinoides nitidus (Reuss), Coryphostoma incrassata (Reuss), Pseudouvigerina plummerae Cushman, P. cretacea Cushman, Bolivina cretosa Cushman, Planulina texana Cushman and Cibicides harperi(Sandidge).

Keywords: Abnormal foraminifera tests, Lepidorbitoides minima, dwarfed planktic foraminfera, Maastrichtian, Cárdenas Formation, Valles-San Luis Potosí Platform.