Santos, A., Mayoral, E.J., da Silva, C.M., Cachão, M., Johnson, M.E. & Baarli, B.G. Miocene intertidal zonation on a volcanically active shoreline: Porto Santo in the Madeira Archipelago, Portugal. Lethaia, Vol. 44, pp. 26–32.
Short-term biological colonization of rockgrounds on the basaltic shorelines of oceanic islands has, as yet, been poorly explored. A Miocene sea cliff on Ilhéu de Cima off Porto Santo in the Madeira Archipelago of Portugal provides a case study showing intertidal zonation with two types of barnacles, serpulid worm tubes, two coral species, epifaunal bivalves and the trace fossils of endolithic bivalves. Large barnacles (Balanus sp.) and serpulids are limited to the upper 400 mm of a basalt cliff of 1.6 m in height. Small barnacles, possibly of the same species, extend to the base. The upper half includes the corals Isophyllastrea orbignyana and Tarbellastraea reussiana, to which many small, coral-inhabiting, barnacles (Ceratoconcha costata) are fixed. Borings identified as Gastrochaenolites torpedo appear through the bottom two-thirds of the cliff face. Rarely, Gastrochaenolites lapidicus is exposed in longitudinal section with borings up to 45 mm deep in solid basalt. Epifaunal bivalves, such as Spondylus sp., are limited to a middle zone. Associated with the sea cliff is an outer platform on which a multitude of T. reussiana colonies occur in growth position. The corals exhibit planar erosion over180 m2. The shelf was faulted and cut by a basalt dike prior to the brief recolonization of I. orbignyana, found attached to low fault scarps. Habitation of the sea cliff was facilitated by rising sea level, but abruptly terminated by burial under volcanoclastic ejecta. □Basalt bioerosion, coastal dynamics, Ilhéu de Cima (Porto Santo), Miocene intertidal zonation, volcanogenic perturbations.