EGU23-9253, updated on 08 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Stratigraphy and depositional environment of Neogene diatom-rich sediments (Bahía Inglesa Formation) at Quebrada Tiburón, northern-central Chile

Fatima Bouhdayad, Tiago Freire, Gerald Auer, Rafael Carballeira, Daniel Herwartz, Stephanie Scheidt, Niklas Leicher, Volker Wennrich, Richard Albert Roper, Axel Gerdes, Jassin Petersen, Sven Nielsen, Marcelo Rivadeneira, and Patrick Grunert
Fatima Bouhdayad et al.

Reduced landward moisture transport due to the cold upwelled surface waters of the Humboldt Current System (HCS) is one of the primary triggers of hyperarid conditions in the Atacama Desert. Marine sediments exposed along the coastline of northern Chile provide a unique archive of land-ocean coupling between coastal upwelling related HCS and paleoclimate in the Atacama Desert during the Neogene. Here we aim to establish a refined stratigraphic framework for the emplacement of diatom-rich deposits of the Bahía Inglesa Formation at Quebrada Tiburón (27°S).

The marine sediments exposed at Quebrada Tiburón lie transgressively above the pre-Cenozoic basement. A c. 9m-thick succession of laminated diatomaceous muds is intercalated with sandy deposits. Benthic foraminiferal assemblages and test morphology reveal a shift from trochospiral and planospiral (predominantly epifaunal) to serial (infaunal) morphotypes between sands and diatomaceous muds, respectively. Together with plankton assemblages dominated by diatoms and Globigerina bulloides, the diatomaceous muds reflect a highly productive coastal upwelling regime and low oxic, eutrophic conditions at the seafloor. However, occasional layers of bioturbation within the diatomaceous succession also imply phases of relaxed upwelling conditions. The new stratigraphic framework will thus allow the assessment of Neogene upwelling behavior and variability off Chile on orbital time scales.

Preliminary results based on calcareous nannoplankton, diatoms and planktonic foraminifera indicate a stratigraphic range from the upper Miocene (Messinian) to the lower Pliocene for the diatomaceous muds. Evidence from the δ18O of the benthic foraminifera Uvigerina peregrina further ties the upper part of the succession to an uppermost Zanclean age < 3.9 Ma. In a next step, the stratigraphic framework will be further improved by new data from magnetostratigraphy, Sr isotopes, and tephrochronology.

This study contributes to CRC 1211 “Earth-Evolution at the dry limit”, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

How to cite: Bouhdayad, F., Freire, T., Auer, G., Carballeira, R., Herwartz, D., Scheidt, S., Leicher, N., Wennrich, V., Roper, R. A., Gerdes, A., Petersen, J., Nielsen, S., Rivadeneira, M., and Grunert, P.: Stratigraphy and depositional environment of Neogene diatom-rich sediments (Bahía Inglesa Formation) at Quebrada Tiburón, northern-central Chile, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-9253,, 2023.