Late Miocene to early Pliocene biofacies of Wanganui and Taranaki Basins, New Zealand: Applications to paleoenvironmental and sequence stratigraphic analysis
Hendy, A. J. W., & Kamp, P. J. J. (2004). Late Miocene to early Pliocene biofacies of Wanganui and Taranaki Basins, New Zealand: Applications to paleoenvironmental and sequence stratigraphic analysis. New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics. 47(4), 769-785.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/163
The Matemateaonga Formation is late Miocene to early Pliocene (upper Tongaporutuan to lower Opoitian New Zealand Stages) in age. The formation comprises chiefly shellbeds, siliciclastic sandstone, and siltstone units and to a lesser extent non-marine and shallow marine conglomerate and rare paralic facies. The Matemateaonga Formation accumulated chiefly in shelf paleoenvironments during basement onlap and progradation of a late Miocene to early Pliocene continental margin wedge in the Wanganui and Taranaki Basins. The formation is strongly cyclothemic, being characterised by recurrent vertically stacked facies successions, bounded by sequence boundaries. These facies accumulated in a range of shoreface to mid-outer shelf paleoenvironments during conditions of successively oscillating sea level. This sequential repetition of facies and the biofacies they enclose are the result of sixth-order glacio-eustatic cyclicity. Macrofaunal associations have been identified from statistical analysis of macrofossil occurrences collected from multiple sequences. Each association is restricted to particular lithofacies and stratal positions and shows a consistent order and/or position within the sequences. This pattern of temporal paleoecologic change appears to be the result of lateral, facies-related shifting of broad biofacies belts, or habitat-tracking, in response to fluctuations of relative sea level, sediment flux, and other associated paleoenvironmental variables. The associations also show strong similarity in terms of their generic composition to biofacies identified in younger sedimentary strata and the modern marine benthic environment in New Zealand.
This article has been published in the New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics. (c) 2004 Royal Society of New Zealand.