Genesis and environmental significance of Upper Cretaceous shell concentrations from the Cauvery Basin, southern India

F. T. Fürsich, D. K. Pandey

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Upper Cretaceous shallow marine calcarenites of the Upper Campanian-Maastrichtian Kallankurichchi Formation from the Cauvery Basin of southeastern India are rich in shell concentrations dominated by large bivalves with minor admixtures of brachiopods, bryozoans, and larger foraminifera. Rarely, these concentrations occur as lenses or pavements, but usually as beds 10 to 200 cm thick. Depending on the dominant skeletal elements, five types of shell concentrations can be distinguished: Isognomon, Pycnodonte, Ceratostreon, inoceramid (?Platyceramus, Cataceramus), and polyspecific concentrations. These shell concentrations occur in various preservational states which reflect the gradual mixing and mechanical destruction of former communities. Analysis of the taphonomic signatures of their components and of the biofabric suggests that storm-induced waves and currents, reduced sediment input, the settling behaviour of taxa, and a high rate of production of biogenic hardparts were responsible, in varying degrees, for the formation of the various shell concentrations. Accordingly they can be classified as storm wave, proximal tempestite, and primary biogenic concentrations. The shell concentrations formed below fair weather wave base in shallow, subtropical, low-stress environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-139
Number of pages21
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 01-1999


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Palaeontology

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