Walvis Ridge barrier: its influence on palaeoenvironments and source rock generation deduced from ostracod distributions in the early South Atlantic Ocean

The early South Atlantic was subdivided latitudinally by the proto-Walvis Ridge, which separated early Cretaceous open marine conditions in the south from non-marine environments to the north. Changes in the palaeogeography, which can be monitored by the distribution of ostracod assemblages, determined the establishment of a wide variety of depositional environments, including evaporitic and total organic carbon-rich facies. Limited northward marine influxes across the barrier are postulated for mid-Aptian time, while largescale southward migrations of marine ostracods from the northern sector occurred in early Cenomanian and/or Turonian times. The latter established cosmopolitan faunas in the southern Atlantic and effectively marked the breakdown of the Walvis Ridge as a physical barrier to north-south migrations, although possible oceanographic factors militated against longitudinal faunal movements. Variations in the composition of ostracod assemblages during so called ‘oceanic anoxic events’ and the production of potential source rocks is briefly reviewed.


Publication status:
Authors: Dingle, R. V.

1 January, 1999
Geological Society, London, Special Publications / 153
Link to published article: