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Inicio  /  Andean Geology  /  Vol: 50 Núm: 1 Par: 0 (2023)  /  Artículo

On the validity of the Macrochorobates scalabrinii Biozone (early Huayquerian Stage/Age, Late Miocene). Multi-proxy analysis of the enigmatic Arenas Blancas site (Buenos Aires Province, Argentina)

Rodrigo L. Tomassini    
Claudia I. Montalvo    
Elisa Beilinson    
Daniel Barasoain    
Gabriela I. Schmidt    
Esperanza Cerdeño    
Alfredo E. Zurita    
Ricardo A. Bonini    
Ángel R. Miño-Boilini    
Luciano L. Rasia    
Germán M. Gasparini    


Arenas Blancas is a poorly known fossiliferous site located in the lower reach of the Chasicó creek (Buenos Aires Province, Argentina), with great relevance from a biostratigraphic viewpoint. The Macrochorobates scalabrinii Biozone was defined in this site, proposed as the biostratigraphic basis of the early Huayquerian Stage/Age (Late Miocene); however, the geological context and faunal record of this site have never been studied in detail. In this work, we perform a multi-proxy analysis of the Arenas Blancas site, as well as a nearby site here called Curva de la Vaca, and provide new interpretations on their origin, age, and biostratigraphy. Sedimentological, stratigraphic, and geomorphological characteristics of both sites suggest that the sequences include fluvial/alluvial deposits that represent Quaternary terraces. The taxonomic analysis of the Arenas Blancas faunal assemblage evidences the presence of 14 mammal taxa, together with some fishes, reptiles, and birds; the assemblage is correlated with the assemblage from the Cerro Azul Formation assigned to the Chasicoan Stage/Age (Late Miocene), also recovered from the lower reach of the Chasicó creek. The use of the taxa proposed in previous works to characterize the Macrochorobates scalabrinii Biozone (including this species) is not supported due to their taxonomic status and/or temporal distribution. Taphonomic evaluation indicates that the assemblage is constituted by reworked specimens; in this frame, it is proposed that fluvio/alluvial events, occurred during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene, eroded the Upper Miocene substrate and reworked fossil remains. Based on the present evidence, the Macrochorobates scalabrinii Biozone is here rejected as a valid biostratigraphic unit.

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