Abstract

The Vera Basin is one of a series of interconnected Neogene–Quaternary-age basins located within the Betic Cordillera in SE Spain. The initial marine phase in the basin is represented by the sedimentary succession of the Abad Member (Tortonian–Messinian) and comprises mainly marls with varying amounts of intercalated siliciclastic–calcareous turbidites. The succession contains a rich ichnofauna comprising 12 ichnogenera (21 ichnospecies), which can be subdivided into a number of distinct ichnoassemblages. Detailed analysis of the distribution of these ichnoassemblages reveals that deposition occurred within the Nereites ichnofacies, more specifically, the Paleodictyon sub-ichnofacies, presumably in a lobe-type setting, and at epi- to mesobathyal depths (i.e. 200–1000 m). Changes within the ichnofacies suggest that there is a clear deep-through-to-shallow trend within the succession extending from the older (i.e. Almocáizar Corridor) to the younger (i.e. centre of the Vera Basin) parts of the succession. These changes coincide with the onset of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) across the region, and correlate well with the pre-MSC through to Lago Mare deposits.

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