Palaeoenvironmental analysis based on rugose corals and microfacies: a case study at La Cornuda section (early Serpukhovian, Guadiato Area, SW Spain)




Alberto Gómez-Herguedas [], Sergio Rodríguez [], Departamento y UEI de Paleontología, Facultad de Ciencias Geológicas e Instituto de Geología Económica, UCM y CSIC, 28040 Madrid, Spain; manuscript received on 24/10/07; manuscript accepted on 23/01/08.


Combined analysis of microfacies and rugose coral features provides a useful tool for palaeoenvironmental studies in areas where outcrops are not appropriate for field observations. A detailed study of Serpukhovian rugose corals from La Cornuda section (Guadiato Area, SW Spain) by means of thin sections allowed the identification of environments where they lived. All corals were collected in unit 1 of the section where three different but intimately connected environments have been identified. Corals developed mainly in small mounds built jointly by microbial communities, algae and corals. Some corals also lived in calcareous shoals mainly composed of echinoderm plates. Finally, some corals occur in Oncoidal limestone that represents a shallow ramp, but they were mainly transported from shoals and mounds.