, DECEMBER 2013, 64, 6, 499—501 doi: 10.2478/geoca-2013-0035
Reply to the Comment of A. Pszczółkowski on “Calpionellid
distribution and microfacies across the Jurassic/Cretaceous
boundary in western Cuba (Sierra de los Órganos)” by
López-Martínez et al. (2013)
, RICARDO BARRAGÁN
, DANIELA REHÁKOVÁ
JORGE L. COBIELLA-REGUERA
Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Delegación Coyoacán, C.P. 04510 México D.F.,
Comenius University, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Geology and Paleontology, Mlynská dolina G, 842 15 Bratislava,
Slovak Republic; firstname.lastname@example.org
Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Pinar del Río, Martí 270, Pinar del Río, C.P. 20100, Cuba
Discussions about the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary in Cuba
are welcome and expected. We are grateful to A. Pszczółkowski
for his interesting comment on our work. Our paper focuses
on the calpionellid biostratigraphy and facies distribution to
establish the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary in a “specific”
section of the Guasasa Formation named the San Vicente
section. Unfortunately, the comment by A. Pszczółkowski
included no special mentions of the main objectives of our
publication. Comments are mainly stressed out around some
minor discrepancies of the results of our contribution with
those previously published by the aforementioned author.
Reply to individual points of the comment
… the authors have omitted some important features … In
the type section, the El Americano Member deposits were
described as dark-grey to black limestones with ammonites
(Houša & Nuez 1972).
As Pszczółkowski (2013) clearly explains, no more detailed
description of the unit was made in López-Martínez et al.
(2013), due to the fact that earlier works characterized the El
Americano Member (Houša & Nuez 1972; Pszczółkowski
1978; Myczyński & Pszczółkowski 1990; Pszczółkowski
1999; Cobiella-Reguera & Olóriz 2009; Pszczółkowski &
Myczyński 2010; Iturralde-Vinent & Pszczółkowski 2011).
Nonetheless, the description in López-Martínez et al. (2013)
took into account all the necessary aspects for its recognition,
including the presence of ammonites and calpionellids; only
the attribute “dark-grey to black limestones” was not specified.
… should not be restricted to the Rancho San Vicente sec-
tion, as it presents the stratigraphic position of the Guani-
guanico units in general, in the Los Órganos and Rosario
The lithostratigraphic units of the Rancho San Vicente
section are part of the Guaniguanico units. If Figure 2 by
Pszczółkowski & Myczyński (2010) represents the strati-
graphic position of the Guaniguanico units, it is hard to con-
ceive how it does not include that section. Thus, the
stratigraphy of the Rancho San Vicente would be embraced
by the stratigraphic framework of the Guaniguanico mega-
unit as a whole.
The authors do not mention, that at San Vicente the age …
was identified by Pop (1976, fig. 4) as Late Tithonian
Crassicollaria Zone). Therefore, the Late Tithonian age of
the boundary between the San Vicente and El Americano
members in the San Vicente section was known after 1976.
López-Martínez et al. (2013), described the San Vicente
Member as follows: “… This unit is of Kimmeridgian—Early
Tithonian age according to Pszczółkowski & Myczyński
(2010)”. Then, the overlying El Americano Member has to
be Late Tithonian for the Steno principle since no a hiatus
was identified. Moreover, the Tumbadero Member was de-
scribed as: “Middle—Late Berriasian age with very thin cherty
beds and lenses”. Therefore, the El Americano Member,
spanning from the end of the San Vicente Member to the be-
ginning of the Tumbadero Member, has to span from the
Late Tithonian to the Early Berriasian.
On the other hand, although stressed by Pszczółkowski in
his comment, the fact that the Late Tithonian age of the
DISCUSSION – REPLY
(Manuscript received October 24, 2013)
LÓPEZ-MARTÍNEZ, BARRAGÁN, REHÁKOVÁ and COBIELLA-REGUERA
GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, 2013, 64, 6, 499—501
boundary between the San Vicente and El Americano mem-
bers in the San Vicente section was known from Pop (1976),
it seems not to be accepted by Pszczółkowski & Myczyński
(2010). On figures 2, 3, 5b and 20 of that work, such contact
is placed as Kimmeridgian—Tithonian. Furthermore, on
page 228, they explain “The ?Late Oxfordian—Kimmeridgian
age of the San Vicente Member was defined on the basis of its
lithostratigraphic position between ammonite-bearing units
and scarce pelagic microfossils found in the limestones of this
Member”. Also, on page 235 they explain “The San Vicente/
El Americano Members boundary correlates approximately
with the Kimmeridgian/Tithonian boundary, at the base of
the Hybonoticeras-Mazapilites Zone (Fig. 2)”.
Despite previous discussion, in our work we refine the
biostratigraphy of the San Vicente section. The age of the
basal stratum of the El Americano Member is clearly late-
Early Tithonian (sensu Jach et al. 2012), Chitinoidella Zone
(Boneti Subzone) which was previously designated as the
Crassicollaria Zone (sensu Pop 1976).
… “in more detailed work it is possible to find a diachro-
nism in the appearance of pelagic conditions” (and so on)
is true, but not new (please see Pop 1976 and
Pszczółkowski 1978, 1981).
The new data on the age of the San Vicente Member in the
“San Vicente section” in our study, place the contact San Vi-
cente/El Americano in the late—Early Tithonian (Boneti Sub-
zone). This datum applies solely to the studied section, and
not to the whole Sierra de los Órganos as, according to
Pszczółkowski (2013, his comment), we pretend to affirm.
Thus, regardless of “how new” the idea of the diachronism
of pelagic conditions is in the whole Sierra de los Órganos,
the age datum is new for the San Vicente section since it
contradicts previous works (i.e. Pszczółkowski & Myczyński
2010), refining and bringing up to date its biostratigraphic
… Originally, the figured juvenile gastropods were found
in other sections of the Guaniguanico megaunit; their oc-
currence was interpreted in terms of moderate to poor oxy-
gen levels at the sediment-water interface.
Gastropods in the San Vicente section are taken into con-
sideration separately in another paper about the Taphonomy
of the section and which is now in press. Nonetheless, the
explanation of the juvenile gastropods in Pszczółkowski &
Myczyński (2010) is ambiguous, because their data are con-
tradictory to their conclusion.
On page 233, those authors explain: “Juvenile gastropods
(Ampullospiridae, mainly Globularia spp., and Pleurotomar-
iidae) co-occur with dark-brown to black faecal pellets. The
presence of Globularia-dominated minute (juvenile) gastro-
pods and lack, or extreme scarcity, of adults in the Lower Ti-
thonian limestones suggest an unfavourable environment for
these molluscs. Low oxygenation levels are a reasonable ex-
planation for this type of micro-gastropod assemblage”.
On page 235 of the same publication: “3.2. Facies type 2:
Bioclastic to shelly limestones (coquinas) and Breccias. This
facies type is represented by dark-grey to black bioclastic and
shelly limestones (Fig. 16) composed of ammonites, aptychi,
juvenile gastropods and, sometimes, phosphatic (sh) detritus
(Fig. 14.4). Juvenile ammonites occur in thin micritic inter-
calations occasionally preserved in ammonite coquinas
(Fig. 14.5 and Fig. 17.3—4)”; “Current imbrication was
observed in an aptychi coquina; origin of bioclastic and shelly
interbeds was related to episodic high-energy events, probably
caused by heavy storms and/or stronger paleocurrent activity”;
“3.3. Facies type 3: Pelagic biomicrites with occasional cal-
carenite interbeds. … Juvenile ammonites (Figs. 14.6 and
17.4) and gastropods (Fig. 15.1—3) often occur in these
biomicrites”; “Calcarenite interbeds composed mainly of the
shallow-water constituents (ooids, bioclasts, Favreina copro-
lites, etc.) have been reported from the Late Tithonian—Early
Berriasian strata of the Southern Rosario succession
(Pszczółkowski 1978). These interbeds, 0.2—10 m thick in
various sections, were interpreted as calciturbidites, mainly”.
On page 236: “Drowning of the Kimmeridgian carbonate
banks of the Sierra de los Organos and Northern Rosario oc-
curred during the Kimmeridgian/Tithonian boundary interval,
although shallow-water bioclasts and coated grains were inter-
mittently shed into the Tithonian deposits (Pszczółkowski
Thus, the Pszczółkowski & Myczyński (2010) data sug-
gest that juvenile gastropods are linked to an important influ-
ence of shallow water derived clasts, but their interpretation
of such juvenile gastropods and ammonites identifies them
as indicators of lower oxygen levels. In the studied section,
all gastropods found in the El Americano Member are resedi-
mented by tempestites and, they were not taken into consid-
eration because those entities do not reflect the physical and
chemical conditions that prevailed during the sedimentation
of the sample. The size of the gastropods and ammonites (ju-
venile) is not due to lower oxygen levels, it is the result of
the Stokes law. Small size gastropods and ammonites can be
transported longer distances. We are not in conflict with the
lower oxygenation of the sediment/seawater interface; abun-
dant data have favoured this phenomenon. However, small
gastropods and ammonites are not part of those data.
“As a matter of fact, the paper by Fernández-López &
Meléndez (1995) concerns middle Jurassic ammonites, not
juvenile gastropods; the term “gastropods” does not appear
in this publication”.
This is a very peculiar observation and perhaps is based on a
misinterpretation of what is written in our paper. The work by
Fernández-López & Meléndez (1995) is about Taphonomic
Gradients and of course, we agree that those authors used
Middle Jurassic ammonites to define different types of such
gradients. However, the definition of the gradients is based on
taphonomic, and not necessarily on taxonomic information.
Therefore, application of those gradients may be extended to
other groups besides the ammonites. One of those gradients
deals with the process of remobilization, while the other is
based on the size of the specimens. In our work we express
(on the basis of the size distribution of the assemblage regard-
less of the taxonomic group involved), that the taphonomic
REPLY TO THE COMMENT ON “CALPIONELLID DISTRIBUTION... (SIERRA DE LOS ÓRGANOS)”
GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, 2013, 64, 6, 499—501
gradients that explain the presence of juvenile and the scarcity
or lack of adult gastropods in Rancho San Vicente Section are
similar by analogy to those described for ammonites by
Fernández-López & Meléndez (1995).
“… Such simple extrapolation does not work, because
there are differences between various sections of this belt
as shown by the studies of previous authors. Moreover, the
authors (López-Martínez et al. 2013) did not take into ac-
count some important arguments, which may not confirm
their conclusions, for example, distribution of ammonites
and microfacies documented from other sections in previ-
Pszczółkowski (2013, his comment) insists that there are
either extrapolations or general conclusions to embrace the
whole Sierra de los Órganos in López-Martínez et al. (2013).
However, our results count exclusively for the San Vicente
section; in fact, on page 206, in reference to the Simplex
Subzone problem, López-Martínez et al. (2013) state “An
appropriate explanation of this phenomenon is out of the
scope of the present work, and perhaps a regional detailed
composite section will be necessary to unravel this biostrati-
graphic interval in the future”.
Moreover, in our conclusions we emphasize that this con-
tribution is based on “high resolution sampling of an outcrop
of the Guasasa Formation in the Rancho San Vicente section
of the “Sierra de los Órganos””. In fact, there are no attempts
in López-Martínez et al. (2013) to make conclusions about
the whole Sierra de los Órganos area. It is clearly stated that
our work is focused on only one section, and that no data
from other sections were used because it was not part of the
goal of the study. This assertion is even stressed on the very
first page of the manuscript, where the objective of the investi-
gation is clearly stated: “definition of an updated and sound
calpionellid biozonation scheme for the section” (López-
Martínez et al. 2013, page 195, Abstract).
“Finally, the study of the San Vicente section improves but
does not change fundamentally the “good correlation of the
Jurassic/Cretaceous Cuban facies with European sections”
(López-Martínez et al. 2013, Conclusions), established by the
results of previous studies (Pop 1976, 1986; Pszczółkowski et
al. 2005; Pszczółkowski & Myczyński 2010).”
As stated before, the main goal of López-Martínez et al.
(2013) is “the definition of an updated and sound calpionel-
lid biozonation scheme for the section”. That means that
from the very beginning, while planning the study, we in-
tended to improve the biostratigraphic scheme to facilitate
more educated correlations with the coeval European sec-
tions. In that regard, we finally agree with this part of the
comment since the objective of López-Martínez et al. (2013)
has been fully accomplished.
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