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Title: Reconstructing depositional environments through cave interior facies: The case of Galería Complex (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain)
Authors: Campaña Lozano, Isidoro
Benito-Calvo, Alfonso
Pérez-González, Alfredo
Ortega Martínez, Ana Isabel
Álvaro Gallo, Ana
Miguens Rodríguez, Leticia
Iglesias Cibanal, Javier
Bermúdez de Castro, José María
Carbonell, Eudald
Keywords: Early Pleistocene;Atapuerca;Cave sedimentation;Sedimentary facies;Interior facies
Issue Date: Nov-2023
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Geomorphology, 2023, 440, 108864
Abstract: This work showed that cave sediments are useful for geomorphologic studies and for reconstructing depositional environments. While the cave entrance facies have been extensively studied for their relationship with the fossil and archaeological record, the cave interior facies have received much less attention, although they can provide much information on the geomorphological evolution of the karst. This work presents the stratigraphic and sedimentological study of a section >6 m thick and 10 m long of cave interior sediments of Galería Complex (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain). Galería Complex is a cavity infill of the Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain), composed of three sections filled by at least 30 m of Pleistocene sediments. This sequence is divided into 5 lithostratigraphic units named from bottom to top: GI – GV. GI unit is 19 m thick of interior facies in the base of the Galería Complex, divided into two sub-unit, GIa and GIb, by the Matuyama-Bruhnes paleomagnetic boundary. GI unit shows an issue with the chronology since has uncoherent between TT-OSL and ESR/U-series and paleomagnetism dates. This work has been done by combining field observation with laboratory sedimentary analysis to characterize the texture and structure of the sediments. Based on these studies, 12 layers and 9 sedimentary facies have been identified. The facies associations indicate a clear separation between GIa and GIb sub-units. GIa sub-unit is dominated by epiphreatic conditions and represents continuous relativity sedimentation during the Early Pleistocene; meanwhile, GIb shows important erosion events and facies with reworked materials that indicate vadose conditions during the Middle Pleistocene. This environmental change is related to the geomorphological evolution of the Arlanzón River. In addition, soft-sediment deformation structures have been described, including faults and low-angle folds. An important leaching process has been identified by the presence of phosphates that could explain the underestimated ages obtained in other works.
ISSN: 1872-695X
DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2023.108864
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueometría
Cartografía Digital y Análisis 3D
Geocronología y Geología
Laboratorio de Geología

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