The Cretaceous (i.e., Crato and Romualdo formations) of the Araripe Basin, records some of the most spectacular fossil-rich deposits (Konservat-Largestätten) of the Mesozoic, which were generated during the Gondwana break-up and consequently South Atlantic Ocean opening. Because of that, upper units of the Santana Group (i.e., Romualdo Formation) record a main Aptian marine transgression. However, various key issues of this event (i.e., marine transgression extension and direction) are still controversial. The Romualdo Formation is characterized by a transgressive-regressive cycle bounded by two regional unconformities. In this project, the main changes in the benthic paleocommunities tied to the paleoenvironmental fluctuations, during the transgressive-regressive cycle of the Romualdo will be investigated. The project focus in an extensive quantitative paleoecologic analysis based on stratigraphically, well-constrained samples (meter by meter) precisely plotted against the available sequence stratigraphy framework of the Romualdo Formation. To determine the nature of the paleoenvironmental changes, right-resolution facies analyses as well as taphonomic and paleoecologic studies (i.e., faunistic composition, relative abundances, diversity) will be done. The main goal is to demonstrate how the paleocommunities responded to the paleoenvironmental changes tied to the seal level changes. The definition of the paleoecologic character of the Romualdo Formation benthic assemblages is an unexplored issue, which is key to our knowledge of the paleogeography and faunal correlations of the Aptian-Albian interval of the sedimentary basins of the Brazilian NE interior.
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