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DOI: 10.

5327/Z23174889201400040002

ARTICLE

Lowstand Turbidites and Delta Systems


of the Itarar Group in the Vidal Ramos
region (SC), southern Brazil
Sistemas Turbidticos e Deltaicos de Mar Baixo do Grupo Itarar na
Regio de Vidal Ramos (SC), Brasil
Carla Gimena Puigdomenech1*, Bruno Carvalho1,
Paulo Srgio Gomes Paim1, Ubiratan Ferrucio Faccini1

ABSTRACT: Turbidites have captioned the attention of sedimen- RESUMO: Turbiditos tem sido foco de estudos ao longo das ltimas dcadas
tologists during the last decades due their importance as hydrocar- devido a sua importncia como reservatrios de leo e gs. No entanto, a relao
bon reservoirs. However, their relationship to delta systems still destes depsitos com deltas um tema que ainda merece ateno. Nesse sentido, esse
deserves further studies. This paper presents examples from a late artigo discute um exemplo de turbiditos e sistemas deltaicos deglaciais a ps-glaciais
deglacial to early post-glacial deltaic and turbidite strata exposed expostos na regio de Vidal Ramos (Santa Catarina), na poro sul da Bacia do
in the surroundings of Vidal Ramos (Santa Catarina State, Brazil), Paran. Nessa rea, uma sucesso com cerca de 360 metros de espessura associada
southern portion of the Paran Basin. There, the uppermost part poro superior da Formao Mafra e Formao Rio do Sul recobre o em-
of the Mafra Formation and the Rio do Sul Formation onlap the basamento Proterozico (Complexo Metamrfico Brusque). Da base para o topo,
Proterozoic basement and comprises an up to 360 m thick package. esse intervalo inclui folhelhos negros, depsitos de transporte de massa e turbiditos
It includes (base to top) black shales, mass transport deposits arenosos da Formao Mafra recobertos por turbiditos finamente acamadados, in-
(MTD) and sandy turbidites (Mafra Formation) as well as thin cluindo um intervalo de folhelhos negros e turbiditos arenosos, e arenitos de frente
bedded turbidites (tbt), including one interval of black shales and deltaica proximal (Formao Rio do Sul). Esse intervalo estratigrfico registra duas
sandy turbidites, overlain by proximal delta front sandstones (Rio espessas sucesses deltaicas superpostas com espessura individual de mais do que
do Sul Formation). The analysis of the succession shows two more 150m. Cada sucesso comporta turbiditos arenosos na base (prodelta) seguidos por
than 150 m thick coarsening-upwards deltaic successions com- turbiditos finamente acamadados (talude deltaico) que gradam para arenitos de
posed of turbidite sand sheets at their base (prodelta), followed frente deltaica, ambos os tipos parcialmente colapsados. Os dois pacotes de turbiditos
by partially collapsed thin bedded turbidites (delta slope wedge) arenosos da base de cada sucesso deltaica recobrem de forma abrupta intervalos
and delta front sandstones. Both turbidite sand-sheets abruptly de folhelhos negros vinculados a inundaes mximas, caracterizando assim duas
overlay black shale intervals related to maximum flooding sur- conformidades relativas. Uma seo estratigrfica elaborada a partir da correlao
faces and therefore record correlative conformities. A detailed de quatro perfis levantados na escala 1/100 prximo ao topo do intervalo de estudo
stratigraphic section elaborated from the correlation of four logs sugere que a frente deltaica distal inclui turbiditos finamente acamadados e aren-
(1/100) suggests that distal delta front sands includes both thin itos retrabalhados por ondas enquanto que a frente deltaica proximal dominada
bedded turbidites and wave reworked sands whereas the proximal por estratos vinculveis a fluxos hiperpicnais de longa durao. A sucesso como um
delta front was dominated by long-lived underflows (hyperpycnal todo sugere que os turbiditos mais expressivos, que caracterizam a base dos sistemas
flows). Thesuccession suggests that the most expressive turbidite deltaicos, foram gerados por quedas relativas do nvel de base (trato de mar baixo
beds (base of the delta systems) have resulted from relative sea-le- precoce), enquanto que os turbiditos finamente acamadados representam cunhas de
vel falls (early lowstand) whereas the thin-bedded turbidites were mar baixo formadas durante as fases mais tardias dos estgios de mar baixo. Osfol-
related to the development of the late lowstand wedge. Black shales helhos negros, por sua vez, foram correlacionados a tratos transgressivos enquanto
represent thetransgressive systems tract and HST were not depo- depsitos de mar alto no foram depositados ou preservados. Alto suprimento sed-
sited or preserved in the area. High sediment supply associated imentar associado a um nvel de mar baixo poderia explicar a ocasional (Vidal
with lowstand tracts could explain the occasional (Vidal Ramos) Ramos) a frequente ocorrncia de feies de remobilizao de taludes deposicionais
to common occurrence of slope failures (slumps and diamictites) (escorregamentos e fluxos de detritos) que envolviam a remobilizao de turbiditos
involving thin bedded turbidites and delta front sandstones. This finamente acamadados e areias de frente deltaica. Tal panorama compatvel com
situation is quite logical in terms of deglacial periods, and resulting episdios de deglaciao, e resultante elevado suprimento sedimentar, vinculados as
high sediment supply, within a long-term icehouse context, with fases finais de um longo perodo de glaciao (icehouse) que controlava o domnio
prevalence of lowstand to transgressive settings. de tratos de sistemas de mar baixo e transgressivo.
KEYWORDS: Deltas; Lowstand Turbidites; Lowstand Wedge; Late PALAVRAS-CHAVES: Deltas; Turbiditos de Mar Baixo; Cunha de
Paleozoic Glaciation; Paran Basin. Mar Baixo; Glaciao Permo-Carbonfera; Bacia do Paran.

1
Graduation Program in Geology at Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos - UNISINOS, So Leopoldo (RS), Brazil. E-mails: carlapuigdo@gmail.com; bmvcarvalho@gmail.com;
ppaim@unisinos.br; ufaccini@unisinos.br
*Corresponding author
Manuscrito ID: 30086. Recebido em: 11/02/2014. Aprovado em: 31/10/2014.

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Turbiditic and deltaic systems of the Itarar group, Vidal Ramos (SC)

INTRODUCTION south-eastern Paraguay, north-eastern Argentina and northern


Uruguay (Fig. 1). It evolved from Ordovician to Cretaceous
Mass and sediment gravity flows are not restricted to and encloses up to 7,000 m of volcano-sedimentary rocks
a specific depositional depth as they occur from subaerial subdivided by Milani (1997) into six 2nd order sequences
to deep-marine environments. Besides, triggering mecha- (or supersequences). The Itarar Group (Gordon Jr. 1947),
nisms can include slope failures due to overloading or seis- which encompasses the studied interval herein, comprises
mic shocks, storm-induced re-suspension and hyperpycnal the lower portion of the Gondwana I Supersequence and
flows, among others. Facies tracts are a result of sediment registers the Late Paleozoic Ice Age in the Paran Basin.
supply, flow transformation and flow efficiency, basin con- TheLate Pennsylvanian to Sakmarian Itarar Group reaches
figuration and confinement, climate and relative sea-level. up to 1,300 m in thickness in the basin depocentre (Frana
Therefore, facies association, facies tract, depositional archi- & Potter 1988) and encloses rare glacial, and mostly degla-
tecture, morphological elements and sedimentary processes cialstrata accumulated within subglacial, and mainly p roglacial
are a complex response to the interplay of several controlling environments, respectively.
factors, their relative weight being always specific for each case.
However, it is also known that subaqueous environments
favour the maintenance of gravity flows due to the preserva-
tion of water in the dense, sediment plus water mixture, in Itarar Outcrops
opposition to subaerial environments, where ground infil- Braslia
tration is a restraining factor. Besides, high sediment supply
coupled with steep slopes largely enhances the possibility of
gravity flows development. And, probably more important,
relative base-level drops strongly enhance upstream erosion
and resulting high sediment supply into the deeper parts
of the basins.
In this way, delta slopes associated with high sediment
input, a typical, though not exclusive, aspect of deglacial suc-
cession due to the large amount of sediment released from
calving glaciers, tend to be turbidite prone. In this sense, the
delta systems that are common in the uppermost portion So Paulo
of the Rio do Sul Formation fulfil these conditions, hence
their association with sandy and thin bedded turbidites is
Curitiba
not surprising. However the delta facies of the Itarar group
were not still extensively studied and neither their genetic
relationship to turbidites, although mass transport deposits
related to delta slope failure (delta front sandstone blocks
and slumped thin-bedded turbidites) have been quoted
n
ea
Oc

elsewhere at the same stratigraphic level (e.g. D`vila 2009; Porto


ic

Alegre
Suss etal. 2014).
nt
la

Paran
At

Therefore, this paper aims to describe one example of Basin


200 km
delta system typical of the latest deglacial to post-glacial
stage of the Paran Basin, which are usually involved into
slope failures, and thus only partially preserved within mass Itarar Group Isopachs
transport deposits. And, also, to relate its development to Studied area
distinct turbidite systems (turbidite sand sheets and thin-bed- Main cities
ded turbidites).
Figure 1. Outcrop belt and isopach map of the
glaciogenic Itarar Group in the Paran Basin (see
GEOLOGICAL SETTING basin location in the inset). Only the upper portion of
the Itarar Group is exposed along the south-eastern
and north-western outcrop belts of the basin. The
The Paran Basin is a huge intracratonic basin (syn- position of the study area is indicated with a dark
eclise) covering about 1,500,000 km2 of southern Brazil, grey rectangle (from Frana & Potter 1991).

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Brazilian Journal of Geology, 44(4): 529-544, December 2014
Carla Gimena Puigdomenech et al.

Based on outcrop studies in Santa Catarina and Paran, METHODS AND CONCEPTS
Schneider etal. (1974) divided the Itarar Group into the
Campo do Tenente, Mafra and Rio do Sul formations, from The first step of this work comprises the mapping the
base to top. Up to 350 m thick, the Rio do Sul Formation Itarar Group along the study area (Fig. 2). A Trimble GPS
essentially comprises fine-grained strata (mudstone and shale) was used to locate outcrops on satellite images and previ-
deposited in a marine setting. Whereas its base includes a ous maps published on internal reports, whereas the new
dark, fine-grained interval (black shale and siltstone), infor- geological map (1:60,000) was elaborated in the ArcGis
mally known as the Lontras Shales, the rest of the unit 10. Atotal of 453 outcrops were described in terms of the
includes siltstones, diamictites, rhythmites and fine-grained classical procedures adopted for facies and facies associa-
sandstones that display, in the upper part of the succession, tion description and interpreted in terms of sedimentary
wave ripples and flaser bedding ascribed by Schneider etal. processes. After that, their mapped vertical stacking were
(1974) to shallow water. then interpreted in terms of sequence stratigraphy princi-
On the other hand, but now founded on subsur- ples, basically accommodation versus supply.
face data, Frana and Potter (1988) also subdivided the Once the map was ready and the delta front interval
Itarar Group into three formations: the Lagoa Azul, mapped along the entire area, some detailed sedimentolog-
Campo Mouro and Taciba formations, from base to ical logs (1:100) were acquired within strategic locations of
top. TheTaciba Formation was further subdivided into the study area recording vertical succession of lithologies,
a lower, sandy member (Rio Segredo); a diamictite-rich textures, sedimentary structures and paleocurrent readings.
member (Chapu do Sol) and a shale-rich member (Rio Four of them were chosen and used to build up a strati-
do Sul). It covers the entire Paran Basin and is the only graphic section that allowed a more detailed interpretation
one exposed around the whole basin. Sandstones of the of the delta front strata.
Rio Segredo Member are characterized by massive and The adopted sequence stratigraphic scheme was the one
graded facies interpretedas turbidites. Some shallow water proposed by Posamentier etal. (1988). Therefore, sequence
pieces of evidence, such as wave ripples, were recorded in boundaries (correlative conformities and one subaerial
cores from the northern part of the basin. The Chapu unconformity) were ascribed to the onset of base-level fall.
do Sol Member consists of massive to crudely stratified Lowstand systems tract (LST) was subdivided into two
diamictites, interpreted as rain-out deposits (mudstones successive components (early LST or fan and late LST or
with ice-rafted clasts), locally modified by resedimentation wedge). No highstand systems tract (HST) was identified.
processes. In the southern part of the basin, these diamic- Theidentification of mass transport deposits (MTD) in out-
tites interfinger with dropstone-rich marine shales of the crop was based on identification of synsedimentary defor-
Rio do Sul Member. Acorrelation between surface- and mation of previous deposits (protholite) with deformation
subsurface-based stratigraphic schemes is shown in Tab. 1. ranging from minimal redistribution of large slide blocks

Table 1. Correlation between the schemes proposed by Schneider etal. (1974) and Frana and Potter (1988) for the
Itarar Group based on surface and subsurface data, respectively (after Weinschtz & Castro 2004).
Schneider etal. (1974) Frana and Potter (1988)

Rio do Sul Member (shale)


Fine-grained, heterolithic deposit.
Rio do Sul Taciba
Chapu do Sol Member (diamictite)
Formation Formation
Lontras Shale Rio do Segredo Member (sandstone)

Upper: sandstone, siltstone,


Lontras Shale
Itarar diamictite
Group Campo
Mafra Formation Middle: silty-muddy rhythmite Mouro
Formation
Diamictite, sandstone.
Lower: sandstone.

Campo do Taraba Member (diamictite)


Shale, diamictite, sandstone and Lagoa Azul
Tenente
conglomerate. Formation
Formation Cuiab Paulista Member (sandstone)

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Turbiditic and deltaic systems of the Itarar group, Vidal Ramos (SC)

A 660000 670000
B

Formation
Rio Bonito
400 m
6980000

6980000
PDF

300 m

TBT

Rio do Sul Formation


TSS

Itarar Group
BS

200 m

TBT

MTD

1 00 m

Mafra Formation
6970000

6970000
MTD

TSS

BS

Current ripple
cros lamination
Climbing current ripples
Dropstones post-deposital
deformation (overloading)
Wave ripples
Unconformity
6960000

1 0.5 0 1 2 km
6960000

660000 670000
Serra Geral Formation (diabase) Mass transport deposits Fault Rivers

Rio Bonito Formation Deep marine (turbidite sand sheet) Log Roads

Proximal delta front Contour Line x 100


Deep marine (black share)

Distal delta dront (tbt) to prodelta Brusque Metamorphic Complex

Figure 2. (A) geological map. (B) composite log of the study area. Detailed logs acquired in the proximal delta front
facies association are indicated by blue crosses. Note that both Mafra shale and lower turbidite sand sheet are
restricted to the southern portion of the map, probably confined to a NW/SE glacial paleovalley (Carvalho 2014).

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Carla Gimena Puigdomenech et al.

to complete disaggregation typical of debris-flow deposits dropstones (Carvalho 2014). The informally named Mafra
(Posamentier & Martinssen 2011). Shale represents a regional-scale, stratigraphic marker and
one (the lower one) of three maximum flooding surfaces
recorded in the Itarar Group in the area. A correlative
RESULTS conformity delineates its upper boundary.
2. Lower Turbidite Sand Sheet: A 30 m thick, mostly
sandy, turbidite succession rests on the Mafra Shale and
Local Stratigraphy is also confined to the above mentioned glacial valley
and Depositional Systems (Carvalho 2014). Turbidites form a sandstone sheet
The succession exposed around Vidal Ramos region (Fig.2) composed of amalgamated, decimetre-scale sandstone
is up to 360 m thick in its local depocentre and fills an irreg- beds intercalated with centimetre-scale, graded sands-
ular topography carved by glacial processes (Carvalho 2014) tone and mudstone couples with dropstones (heteroli-
into Paleoproterozoic schists and marbles of the Brusque thic rhythmites interpreted as thin-bedded turbidites-
Metamorphic Complex (Fig. 3). It is comparable to the upper TBT) (Fig.4Cand4D). The thicker sandstone beds are
part of the Mafra (basal black shale and overlying sandstone) massive to plane-bedded, medium- to fine-grained and
and Rio do Sul (rhythmite-rich succession) formations. occasionally bounded by thin, usually discontinuous
Likewise, it is equivalent to the upper part of the Campo do mudstone layers. On the other hand, TBT are compo-
Mouro and Taciba formations, the last one including the Rio sed of very fine- to fine-grained, massive, plane- and
do Segredo, Chapu do Sol and Rio do Sul members. The cross-laminated sandstones and siltstones. Sole marks
exposed Itarar Group (Fig. 2) encompasses five main inter- and mudclasts are common. The sharp basal boundary
vals described from base to top in the following paragraphs. of the entire turbidite succession (correlative confor-
1. Black shale: A 20 m thick interval composed of black mity) suggests a relative-sea level fall here interpreted
shale defines the base of the Paleozoic succession in the as a result of a climate change (cooling and resulting
studied area. It correlates to the upper part of the Mafra ice advance into the basin). Theentire coarsening-u-
Formation due to the fact that it rests underneath the tur- pward, mostly sandy succession was related to the ini-
bidite sand sheets, and not above them like the Lontras tial deglaciation stages and resulting high ice melt rates
Shale in the homonymous region. This interval includes and sediment discharge from carving glaciers into the
both dropstone-bearing, black shales and mm-scale couples flooded valley (early lowstand turbidites). The inter-
of dark grey siltstones and black shales (Fig. 4A and 4B). calation of mostly amalgamated, thick sandstone beds
It is confined to a glacial carved, north-westward striated and TBT with dropstones is understood as a result of
paleovalley and was ascribed to deep marine, proglacial short-term climate changes, i.e. warmer and higher
sedimentation derived from distal, low concentration sand deliver versus cooler and lesser sand deliver asso-
turbidity plumes and hemipelagic material disturbed by ciated with dropstones, respectively (Carvalho 2014).

A B

Figure 3. (A) fine-grained facies of the Rio do Sul Formation resting of basement rocks (schists) that display (B)
ice-scoured striation.

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Turbiditic and deltaic systems of the Itarar group, Vidal Ramos (SC)

A B

C D

Figure 4. Mafra Formation. (A) black shale and minor tbt overlain (correlative conformity) by thicker, sandy
turbidites. (B) dropstones in the Mafra Shale. (C) tbt and sandy turbidites of the lower turbidite sand sheet.
(D)dropstones in tbt (detail of photo C). (E) slumped beds and related diamictites (MTD) with large blocks of fine-
grained sandstone within a muddy matrix.

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Carla Gimena Puigdomenech et al.

3. Mass Transport Deposits (MTD): They rest either above massive or current-rippled sandstones intercalated with
the confined sandy turbidites or directly on the basement, mudstones. About 100 metres above the base of this rhy-
and comprise an up to 30 m thick package of slumped thmite-prone interval occurs a second 20 metres thick
beds and linked diamictites. It includes folded to broken black shale interval. Like the lower one (Mafra Shale),
mudstone and sandstone beds as well as pebble- to cobble- it is abruptly overlain by a second expressive turbidite
size extra-clasts (dropstones) dispersed within a domi- sand sheet (about 20m thick) that delineates the base
nantly silty matrix (Fig. 4E). The MTD was ascribed to of second TBT succession (Fig. 5C). The later register a
the partial failure of the following, late lowstand delta fining-upward trend and finishes with dark grey muds-
slope (lowstand wedge). The development of a slope phy- tones. Paleocurrent readings on flute casts and current
siography in an intracratonic basin was interpreted as the ripples indicate north-westwards low concentration turbi-
result of a basal, irregular and glacially-carved topography dity currents (TBT). An abrupt boundary delineates the
associated with high rates of sediment deliver into the contact between the TBT dominated succession (delta
basin during subsequent deglaciation episodes. slope including prodelta and distal delta front facies) and
4. Distal delta front (thin-bedded turbidites): A rather uni- the following sandstone-prone interval (Fig. 6).
form, about 200 m thick interval, mostly composed of 5. Proximal Delta Front (Fig. 2): It comprises fine- to very
rhythmites interpreted as thin-bedded turbidites, rests fine-grained sandstones and mudstones, forming an
above the mass transport deposit (Fig. 5A). At its base overall coarsening- and thickening-upward succession.
it contains fine-grained rhythmites (siltstone and clays- Itsmaximum thickness is 47 m, but mapping suggests
tone) with dropstones and a relatively thin slumped a total thickness of 60 m. This interval encompasses a
interval (Fig.5B). Upwards it becomes coarser-grained, proximal delta front facies association that will be detai-
with rhythmites composed of 2 to 5 cm thick, usually led in the following section.

A B

C D

Figure 5. Rio do Sul Formation. (A) mm- to cm-scale couples of fine-grained rhythmites. (B) slumps and diamictites
(sandstone blocks and dropstones within a muddy matrix) related to mass-transport deposits. (C) heterolithic
rhythmites (tbt) and black shale sharply overlain by turbidite sand sheet. (D) thick beds of fine-grained sandstone
related to distributary bars.
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Turbiditic and deltaic systems of the Itarar group, Vidal Ramos (SC)

Figure 6. Coarsening-and thickening upward succession (tbt to sandy delta front deposits) abruptly resting above
dark shale (upper interval of the Rio do Sul Formation).

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Carla Gimena Puigdomenech et al.

Finally, and beyond the scope of this paper, a regional Fine grained, deformed beds (facies Fd; Fig. 7C and7D):
unconformity delineates the boundary between the Rio This facies was observed in the lower part of two logs (VR-1
Bonito and Rio do Sul formations, as already pointed by for- and VR-4). Consist of 1 to 4 m thick packages (VR- 1) of
mer authors (e.g. Castro 1999). The Rio Bonito Formation contorted mudstone strata, locally including micro faults
encompasses whitish, yellowish to pinkish, fine- to very and minor amounts of folded sandstone beds and/or blocks.
fine-grained, cross-stratified sandstones interlayered with It represents mass transport deposits (slumps) and indicates
grey mudstone lenses. fine-grained facies deposition on calm, but relatively steep
depositional surfaces. Its vertical association with delta front
Proximal Delta Front Facies Association facies as well as folded sandstone beds and blocks involved
This up to 60 m thick interval comprises a coarsening- in the mass transport suggests oversteepening of deposi-
and thickening-upwards succession. It is composed of fine- tional slopes due to high sedimentation rates on a proximal
to very fine-grained, yellowish sandstones and dark grey to delta front setting.
black mudstones and shale. Its lower contact is abrupt, with
sand-rich TBT resting directly onto mud-rich TBT and dark Heterolithic facies
shales (Fig. 6). Four representative 1:100 logs (see location Heterolithic rhythmites (facies Hrh, Fig. 8): This facies
in Fig. 2) were described and correlated. The sedimentary consists of successive pairs individually composed of fine- to
facies that characterize this facies association are indicated very fine-grained sandstone grading upwards to mudstone
in Tab. 2 and described in the following paragraphs. (Fig. 8A). Typical bed thickness ranges from 2 to 20cm.
From base to top, the sandy interval can be massive or dis-
Fine-grained facies play plane-bedding (Fig. 8B) and/or ripple cross-lamination.
Fine-grained rhythmites (facies Frh; Fig. 7A and 7B): Massive intervals (Fig. 8C) are composed of fine-grained
Itoccurs as up to 3 m thick packages defined by the stacking sandstones and may include mud-clasts, dewatering struc-
of mm to few cm thick, fine-grained graded pairs. Each cou- tures and sole marks, such as grooves and tool marks, as well
ple is composed of a lower siltstone that grades upwards to a as load and flute casts. These features indicate an initial tur-
dark grey to black shale. A faint horizontal lamination is at bulent stage (flute casts, grooves and tool marks, and mud
times discernible in the silty interval. Each graded bed (couple clasts) followed by flow separation and bi-partition (massive
or pair) is interpreted as the result of a low concentration tur- fabric and dewatering structures) during the depositional
bidity current followed by the settling down of hemi-pelagic stage of the low concentration turbidity currents. Its massive
material. Deposition taking place on proximal delta front areas aspect is related to the rapid upward movement of water due
subject to temporary abandonment (distributary avulsion) to high rates of sand fall out during the initial depositional
is deduced from facies features and their lateral association. phase of bi-partite turbidite currents. Dewatering processes,

Table 2. Proximal delta front facies association: description and interpretation (facies code adapted from Miall, 1977).
Lithology Sedimentary features Code Interpretation

Climbing ripple cross-lamination Sr

Wave ripple cross-lamination Srw


Fine- to very fine-grained Proximal delta front
Fluidized beds Sf
sandstone beds. (distributary bar)
Massive beds Sm

Deformed beds Sd

Graded sandstone to shale. Sandy interval can be massive or


Heterolithic beds (cm- Proximal delta front
display plane bedding, current ripple cross lamination, sole Hrh
scale rhythmites). (bar fringe)
marks and fluid-scape features.

Deformed beds Fd
Fine-grained beds
Delta front avulsion
(siltstone and shale)
Rhythmites (mm-scale, graded siltstone to shale pairs). Frh

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Turbiditic and deltaic systems of the Itarar group, Vidal Ramos (SC)

A B

C D

Figure 7. Fine-grained facies. (A) Sharp-contact with the delta front sandstones at the base of the VR-2. (B) Fine-
grained rhythmites (Facies Frh). (C) four metres thick slump observed at the south of the study area including
both Fd and Sd facies. (D) deformed mudstones (Fd facies) at the base of VR-4.

A B

Figure 8. Heterolithic facies. (A) tbt represented by pairs of sandstone grading to mudstones. Note the current
rippled interval at top of some beds (Tc interval). (B) plane-bedding (Tb interval) at the top of a graded bed.
(C)mud-clasts at the top of massive interval (Ta).

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Carla Gimena Puigdomenech et al.

and resulting fluidisation have also took place during the sedimentation rates. It was also related to the basal layer of
deposition of the Tc interval (Bouma 1962). Plane-bedded bipartite turbidity currents on proximal delta front reaches.
and subsequent current rippled intervals represent deposi- Wave rippled sandstones (Facies Srw; Fig. 10): Thisfacies
tion under upper and lower flow regimes of waning surges, is present at the lower part of one log (VR-2) and in the east-
respectively. Palaeocurrent readings indicate main flow ern portion of the study area (VR-3). It comprises fine- to
direction to NW. Although similar to the distal delta front very fine-grained sandstones with wave-ripples and associ-
thin bedded turbidites, this facies was attributed to a prox- ated cross-lamination. Both bi-directional c ross-lamination
imal delta front setting because of its upward replacement within single set (Fig. 10A) and ripple-form asymmetry
by distributary sand bars and usual intercalation with wave opposite to the internal cross-lamination (Fig. 10B) are
rippled sandstones (Srw). clear pieces of evidence of oscillatory flows (de Raaf etal.
1977). Wave rippled sandstone may also include upper flow
Sandstones facies regime plane bedding (Fig. 10A). When intercalated with
Deformed sandstones (facies Sd; Fig. 9): It is similar mudstone, this facies display a wavy appearance (Fig. 10B).
to Fd, except for the prevalence of sandstone. This facies Its usual connection to mudstone suggests deposition bel-
is composed of disturbed beds and/or blocks of formerly low fair-weather wave base-level, hence a relation to storms
massive (Sm), fluidized (Sf ), ripple cross-laminated (Sr) or eventually affecting proximal delta front reaches.
horizontally-laminated (Sh) sandstones and minor amount Current rippled sandstones (facies Sr; Fig. 11): This facies
of muddy facies. Such deformed beds range from 0.5 up to occurs as 0.5 to 3 metres thick, fine-grained sandstone beds.
2 m thick and represent formerly deposited sands displaced Each bed usually comprises a single cosset of asymmetric
downslope (slumps) due to high sedimentation rates and climbing ripples, although some cross-stratification may also
resulting failure of steep, unstable delta slopes. be present at the base of the bed. A single cosset of climb-
Massive sandstones: This facies occurs as 0.5 to 4 m ing ripples along meter-scale beds suggest long-lived hyper-
thick beds of fine-grained sandstone. Mud-clasts and sole pycnal flows and high rates of sand fall out. This statement
marks (grooves, loading and flute casts) are common and is also supported by the presence of 3D dunes at the base
indicate turbulent eddies eroding substrate before depo- of some current rippled sandstone beds. All these remarks
sition. This facies was associated with the granular, basal suggest sandy bars accumulated at the mouth of distribu-
layer of bi-partite turbidite currents flowing to NW-NE tary channels on a proximal delta front. Paleocurrent read-
according to flute casts orientation on a proximal delta ings indicate main flow direction towards NW (Fig. 12).
front setting.
Fluidized sandstones (facies Sf ): This facies consists of
fine- to very fine-grained, up to 40 cm thick sandstones DISCUSSION
that grade to mudstones and displays dewatering and load-
ing structures. It results from rapid upward movement of The analysis of the data indicates that both strati-
water during sedimentation and is typically linked to high graphic context and sedimentary processes have played

A B

Figure 9: Facies Sd. (A) deformed, very fine-grained sandstones observed in the south of the study area (VR-1).
(B)slumped bed along the VR-2.

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Turbiditic and deltaic systems of the Itarar group, Vidal Ramos (SC)

A B

Figure 10. Facies Srw. (A) fine-grained sandstones (VR-2) with two sets of wave-ripple cross lamination, including
two opposite flow direction in the lower cross laminated set, enclosing an upper flow-regime, plane-bedded
interval. (B) wavy bedding (VR-3) with asymmetrical wave-ripple with slipface dipping to the left, in opposition
to the cross-lamination dip (to the right).

A B

C D

Figure 11. Examples of current rippled sandstone beds (facies Sr) in (A) VR-2 and (B and D) VR-4. (C) notice a
cross-stratified set at the base of the rippled sandstone bed.

important, although distinct roles. In a broad view, the supply (deglacial episodes) and a long-term lowstand set-
prevalence of gravity flow deposits (MTD and turbidites) ting (upper Paleozoic ice-house). These points explain both
along the Itarar Group can be explained by an irregular, regional and local conditions that prevailed during the
glacial-carved topography associated with high-sediment deposition of the base (Itarar Group) of a second-order

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Brazilian Journal of Geology, 44(4): 529-544, December 2014
Carla Gimena Puigdomenech et al.

NW S
8,3 Km
VR-2

45
LITHOFACES SEDMENTARY STRUCTURES Fl
Fine-grained sandstone Plane bedding Fluidization
Fl
Very ne-grained Current ripples Flute Cast 40
sandstone
Mudstone Massive Flame
Sr
Climbing structures
VR-4 20 Shale Groove casts
current ripples Sr
Diabase Cross stratication Mudclasts 35
Boundary between Distal Delta Front Cross Ripples (n=47)
Deformation Flaser bedding Sr Stratication
to Prodelta and Delta Front deposits Hrh
Datum Load Cast Wave ripples Sr (n=47)
15
Palaeocurrents readings HCS
30
Sm VR-1 20
Sr
10 Sr
Sr 25
Sm Sd 15
Sr 5
Hrh 20 Ripples (n=8) Hrh, Sm
Sm Hrh, Sr
Sr Hrh Hrh, Sr
Sr Sr Hrh, Sr 10
Sr Ripples (n=29) Ripples (n=23)
Sr Sd Hrh, Sm
VR-3 20
Sr 15 Fd
Srw
Srw Sl 5
Srw
Sr Sd
Srw Flute Marks (n=8) Srw
15 Hrh, Srw Sd
Hrh, Srw 10 Fd
Sr
Srw Ripples (n=33)
Sd

Ripples (n=16) Hrh


10 Sm 5
Hrh
Srw
Hrh
Hrh, Srw
Sr Srw
Hrh, Srw
Sl Ripples (n=31)
5 Groove Marks (n=2)
Frh

Figure 12. Stratigraphic section of the delta system (falling-stage system tract) of the younger 3rd order
depositional sequence. Palaeocurrent data set is shown in the rose diagrams (note the wider flow dispersion in
the lower, distal delta front fringe composed of wave-influenced tbt. The yellow dashed line corresponds to the
chosen datum (For facies code references see Tab. 2).

depositional sequence (Gondwana I Supersequence of were proposed by Castro (1999), Vesely and Assine (2004),
Milani 1977). Vesely (2006), Dvila (2009) and Suss etal. (2014) from
Higher-frequency sea-level changes and linked 3rd order studies of the Itarar Group in areas situated further to the
depositional sequences, within a longer-term 2nd order low- north. Like here, these authors associated glacial/deglacial
stand, can also explain regional and local stacking of facies cycles with the repeated stacking of depositional facies tracts
(mostly lowstand and transgressive systems tracts) and (depositional sequences).
sequence boundaries (correlative conformities rather than On the other hand, a major difference is related to our
subaerial unconformities). In the studied area, four 3rd order interpretation as depositional sequences bounded by cor-
sequences bounded by correlative conformities have been relative conformities and comprising lowstand (lowstand
identified (Fig. 13). The lower one (Fig. 13A) comprises a fan and wedge) and transgressive systems tracts in opposi-
transgressive system tract, represented by black shales here tion to depositional sequences bounded by unconformities
named Mafra Shale (roughly equivalent to the Lontras Shale). and enclosing lowstand, transgressive and highstand sys-
The following two 3rd order sequences (Fig. 13) include tems tracts (e.g. Vesely & Assine 2004, 2006, Vesely 2006;
turbidite sands sheets (early lowstand turbidites) followed by Dvila 2009).
thin bedded turbidites (late lowstand wedge) at their base Therefore, a long-term (2nd order) lowstand modulated
overlain by black shales (transgressive system tracts). At last, by shorter-term (3rd order) sea-level fluctuations added by a
the uppermost 3rd order depositional sequence (Fig.13G) rather irregular, glacial-carved physiography explain the prev-
involves only the delta front to prodelta strata (falling-stage alence of lowstand, gravity flow deposits and transgressive
system tract). Similar, but not identical sequence strati- black shales bounded by correlative conformities. Turbidity
graphic schemes and associated depositional systems tracts currents were favoured during higher frequency (3rd order)

541
Brazilian Journal of Geology, 44(4): 529-544, December 2014
Turbiditic and deltaic systems of the Itarar group, Vidal Ramos (SC)

Rio Grande do Sul State Santa Catarina State

Vidal
Ramos
(a)
Negative
accomodation
(fast rate)

(f)
Positive
accomodation
(high rate)

(e)
Positive
accomodation
(low rate)
(d)
Negative
Time / Depth

accomodation
(fast rate)

(c)
Positive
accomodation
(high rate)

(b)
Positive
accomodation
(low rate)

(a)

Negative
accomodation
(fast rate)

Unconformity (Subaerial exposure) Early lowstand system tract (lowstand fan)

Transgressive systems tract / correlative conformity Early lowstand system tract (shelf-margin delta)

Falling-stage systems trac Previous de-glacial deposits

Early lowstand systems tract (lowstand wedge) Relative sea-level

Abrupt shallowing-upward (correlative conformity) Shallowing-upward

Deepening-upward (to maximum ooding surface)

Figure 13. Itarar Group: turbidite and delta deposition within a sequence stratigraphic context. Overall succession
is part of a 2nd order lowstand strata onlapping to the south whereas sandy turbidites and deltas are interpreted
as 3rd order, early to late lowstand stages, respectively.

542
Brazilian Journal of Geology, 44(4): 529-544, December 2014
Carla Gimena Puigdomenech et al.

lowstand either as turbidite sand sheets (early lowstand) or Its divisions comprise glacial / deglacial cycles (3rd order
thin-bedded turbidites (late lowstand or lowstand wedge). sequences) with deposition taking place during ice retreat
Final stages suggest a much broader and shallower set- and their boundaries (correlative conformities) being during
ting with the replacement in the uppermost 3rd depositional episodes of ice advance.
sequence of the lowstand turbidites by delta front sandstones Both lower 3rd order sequences encompass deep water,
(falling-stage system tract) overlain by a regional uncon- lowstand and transgressive systems tracts. On the other
formity that delineates the boundary with the Rio Bonito hand, the upper 3rd order comprises a mainly post-glacial
Formation. The falling-stage systems tract comprises a coars- sequence, which encompasses a falling-stage, shallow water
ening-upward succession (Fig. 12) that includes wave-re- system tract (mostly delta front deposits) overlain by an sub-
worked TBT (Fig. 10) and distributary bar strata (Fig. 11) aerial unconformity (base of the Rio Bonito Formation).
related to the distal (fringe) to proximal (bars) delta front Gravity flows were favoured by a rather irregular basement
reaches, respectively. Mass flows were still active (Fig. 9) morphology sculpted by glacier erosion and an overall low-
on the delta system, displacing and deforming delta front stand setting (2nd order lowstand). The triggering mecha-
facies (VR-1) and producing through flow transformation nism of both mass flows and turbidity currents seems to be
sand-rich (VR-2) to finer-grained (VR-3) northward turbid- related to lowstand (and falling stage) delta slope instabil-
ity currents (Fig. 12). Similar facies tracts have been earlier ity due to high sediment discharge on delta front settings,
reported in the Itarar Group by former authors (e.g. Gama which reach its maximum during the early lowstand phase
Jr. etal. 1992, Dvila 2009). (turbidity sand sheets).
The genetic relationship between delta slope, mass flow
and sand-rich to fine-grained turbidity currents envisaged
on the falling-stage system tract suggest that the previously ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
described lowstand wedges related to the older 3rd deposi-
tional sequences represent the distal portion of lowstand del- This manuscript presents some results of the research project
tas. It also suggests that the turbidite sand sheet would be entitled Late Paleozoic de-glacial deposits in the Paran Basin
related to lowstand fluvial input either directly (hyperpycnal (Brazil) and their analogue in the Paganzo Basin (Argentina):
flows) or through the remobilization (short-lived surges) of impacts on reservoir prediction supported by BG .E&P Brasil
lowstand delta front bars to deeper realms. via Special Participation funds. Therefore, the authors wish to
thank BG E&P Brasil for the support and permission to pub-
lish the results. We are grateful to Carlos Fabiano Rodrigues
CONCLUSIONS for his important contribution in the geological mapping
and support during the field work. We would like to thank
The Itarar Group in the studied area represents a degla- two anonymous reviewers for their extensive and construc-
cial to post-glacial succession recorded in the Mafra and tive comments that have deeply impacted and improved this
Rio do Sul formations. The entire record is part of a 2nd final version. At last, U. F. Faccini thanks Conselho Nacional
order lowstand (base of the Gondwana I Supersequence de Desenvolvimento Cientfico e Tecnolgico (CNPq) for
of Milani, 1977) ascribed to the Upper Paleozoic Ice Age. Research Fellowship (Grant 311070/2013-2).

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