Coralline Algae from the Miocene Mahakam Delta (East Kalimantan, SE Asia)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:In Press
Authors:A. Rösler, Pretković, V., Novak, V., Renema, W., Braga, J. C.
Journal:Palaios
Abstract:

Miocene crustose coralline algae (CCA) from the South East Asia are poorly known, although the Miocene is the epoch of the onset of the biodiversity hotspot in the region and CCA are crucial to understand the evolutionary history of reef building. To fill this knowledge gap, CCA from Lower and Middle Miocene reefs and related carbonates in the Kutai Basin in East Kalimantan (Borneo, Indonesia) have been studied. The Kutai Basin was dominated by siliciclastic sediments of the Proto-Mahakam delta and only locally carbonate buildups occur laterally to or within the deltaic succession. CCA in the Kutai Basin occur in low-energy shallow-water platform carbonates and in association with coral reefs, encrusting the corals or bioclasts. Two main CCA assemblages have been recognized: 1) A shallow-water assemblage (S-assemblage), dominated by Neogoniolithon spp., thick crusts of Spongites spp., and Hydrolithon spp.; and 2) the D-assemblage, mainly consisting of thin crusts of Lithothamnion spp., Mesophyllum spp., and Sporolithon spp., which grew in darker waters. Light reduction in reefs in the Proto-Mahakam delta was due to increased water depth or higher turbidity by higher siliciclastic input. Assemblages with intermediate composition (I-assemblages) can also be found. Common CCA with large cells fusions and groups of heterocysts, typical features of modern reef CCA, in the S-assemblages in the Middle Miocene of East Kalimantan reflect the initiation of the reef-building CCA flora in the Indo-Pacific region. The occurrence of this kind of CCA confirms the biogeographic differentiation of a tropical reef flora.

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