Article: Larger foraminifera from the upper Oligocene of the Venetian area, north-east italy
A moderately diverse larger foraminiferal fauna from the north-east Italian 'Arenarie e calcari di S. Urbano' formation with important stratigraphic, palaeoecological and palaeobiogeographical implications is described with respect to its position in the Western Tethys area. The fauna is dominated by hyaline perforated and porcellaneous forms including Amphistegina, Archaias, Austrotrillina, Miogypsinoides, Neoplanorbulinella, Neorotalia, Nummulites, Operculina and Spiroclypeus. The presence of Miogypsinoides complanatus allows the age of the formation to be determined as late Chattian (Shallow Benthic Zone SBZ 23). The palaeoenvironmental setting is interpreted as a shallow ramp environment ranging from (1) well lit, highly translucent, shallowest part of the photic zone characterized by Archaias and Austrotrillina, the deeper part of the inner ramp with Nummulites, to (2) the shallow part of the middle ramp with Spiroclypeus and miogypsinids and Operculina, to (3) a deeper middle-ramp setting dominated by coralline rhodoliths along with lepidocylinids. The presence of Archaias hensoni Smout and Eames shows that members of much more diverse Middle Eastern associations of shallow-water larger porcellaneous foraminifera are also present in the north-western parts of the Western Tethys, and reveals a corresponding diversity gradient among larger foraminiferal faunas in the Western Tethys, which is related to a decrease in temperature.