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The Cenomanian lignitic clays of Hucheloup (Écouflant, Maine-et-Loire) : palaeobotanical and palaeoenvironmental study

Abstract : The Anjou region is located in the western part of the Paris Basin at the south-east of the Armorican Massif. The Cenomanian clays of Le Brouillard quarry (near Ecouflant, Maine-et- Loire) yielded exceptionally preserved plant macroremains. They included centimetric compressions of Conifers, Ginkgoales, and Angiosperms. This quarry was studied during the second half of the 20th century but was partially filled in 2005, rendering further studies impossible. However, in 2006, new fossiliferous deposits were discovered in the Hucheloup quarry, located one kilometer west of Le Brouillard. The Hucheloup quarry displays a succession of sand and clay, presumably Cenomanian in age. Clays yield a diverse fossil assemblage which was already, partly, studied by Néraudeau et al. (2013) and Durand (2014). It is dominated by coastal marine and brackish bivalves, mostly of the genera Brachidontes (fam. Mytilidae) and Protocardia (fam. Cardiidae), and contains an important diversity of plant impressions and compressions, mainly preserved as fragmented leaf remains, with or without cuticle. The plants have been transported, only the brackish bivalves seem to be autochtonous. Plants were ascribed to diverse Pinales (29%), Pteridophytes (29%), Ginkgoales (24%), Angiosperms (17%) and Cycads (1%). The most abundant species are Frenelopsis alata (Pinales) and Eretmophyllum andegavense (Ginkgoales). The co-occurence of those two species is frequently found in Europe in estuarine mid-Cretaceous deposits. The fauna also includes arthropod remains such as insect eggs and a fragmented carapace of Meyeria sp. (Crustacean), as well as bryozoans and brachiopods. The taphonomical, sedimentological, and palaeoecological data revealed that the fossil remains were deposited in a brackish lagoon or the lower part of what was likely an estuary. It allowed the preservation of a rich biodiversity that developed under a tropical climate, at the ocean/land transition.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 2:28:04 PM
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Rolf Fleury, Fabrice Redois, Didier Néraudeau, Benoît Mellier, Christine Strullu-Derrien, et al.. The Cenomanian lignitic clays of Hucheloup (Écouflant, Maine-et-Loire) : palaeobotanical and palaeoenvironmental study. 25 ème Réunion des sciences de la Terre (RST 2016), Société Géologique de France, Oct 2016, Caen, France. pp.126. ⟨insu-01388071⟩

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