Biostratigraphy and paleoenvironment of Maastrichtian foraminiferal assemblages from a succession located NW of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas (SE Mexico)

  • Lourdes Omaña Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria 04510 Ciudad de México, Mexico.
  • Jose Maria Pons Departament de Geologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193, Bellaterra, Spain.
  • Ruben Cruz Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria 04510, Mexico City, Mexico.
Keywords: Foraminifera, early–late Maastrichtian, Chiapas, SE Mexico


During the Maastrichtian, two lithostratigraphic units were deposited in the central Chiapas region; the Ocozocoautla and Angostura formations. The first unit crops out northwest of the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez in central Chiapas. It is a complex lithological unit mainly composed of siliciclastic rocks interbedded with limestone. Overlying it, the Angostura limestone is recognized. This study focuses on a taxonomic study of the larger benthic and planktic foraminifera from both formations in order to assign age and to infer the paleoenviroment.

The Ocozocoautla Formation includes an association of benthic as well as significant planktic foraminifera. Based on the microfossils stratigraphic distribution, two biozones were defined: the Pseudorbitoides rutteniAyalaina rutteni Assemblage Zone of earliest Maastrichtian and the upper part of the Gansserina gansseri Interval Zone of early Maastrichtian.

The Angostura Formation contains dasycladacean algae and larger foraminifera considered as important age markers in shallow-water environments. Two foraminiferal interval zones were defined, Praechubbina breviclaustra Interval Zone of early late Maastrichtian and Chubbina jamaicensis Total Range Zone of late to latest Maastrichian age.

The microfacies (grainstone, wackestone–packstone, wackestone) as well as the foraminiferal assemblage enable the paleoenvironment to be reconstructed, suggesting a deposit that developed in an open-water marine setting with moderate to high energy, characterized by benthic and planktic foraminifera in the Ocozocoautla Formation, while in the Angostura Formation a shallow-water marine protected environment is inferred.

The paleobiogeographical distribution of the assemblage from both the Ocozocoautla and Angostura formations mostly contains endemic benthic foraminifera of the Caribbean Province and other few Tethysian forms of the Angostura Formation.