Facies architecture of the fluvial Missão Velha Formation (Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous), Araripe Basin, Northeast Brazil: paleogeographic and tectonic implications

Gelson Luis Fambrini, Virginio Henrique M.L. Neumann, Jose Acioli B Menezes-Filho, Wellington F da Silva-Filho, Edison Vincente de Oliveiraa


Sedimentological analysis of the Missão Velha Formation (Araripe Basin, northeast Brazil) is the aim of this paper through detailed facies analysis, architectural elements, depositional systems and paleocurrent data. The main facies recognized were: (i) coarse-grained conglomeratic sandstones, locally pebbly conglomerates, with abundant silicified fossil trunks and several large-to-medium trough cross-stratifications and predominantly lenticular geometry; (ii) lenticular coarse-to-medium sandstones with some granules, abundant silicified fossil wood, and large-to-medium trough cross-stratifications, cut-and fill features and mud drapes on the foresets of cross-strata, (iii) poorly sorted medium-grained sandstones with sparse pebbles and with horizontal stratification, (iv) fine to very fine silty sandstones, laminated, interlayered with (v) decimetric muddy layers with horizontal lamination and climbing-ripple cross-lamination. Nine architectural elements were recognized: CH: Channels, GB: Gravel bars and bed forms, SB: Sand bars and bedforms, SB (p): sand bedform with planar cross-stratification, OF: Overbank flow, DA: Downstream-accretion macroforms, LS: Laminated sandsheet, LA: Lateralaccretion macroforms and FF: Floodplain fines. The lithofacies types and facies associations were interpreted as having been generated by alluvial systems characterized by (i) high energy perennial braided river systems and (ii) ephemeral river systems. Aeolian sand dunes and sand sheets generated by the reworking of braided alluvial deposits can also occur. The paleocurrent measurements show a main dispersion pattern to S, SE and SW, and another to NE/E. These features imply a paleodrainage flowing into the basins of the Recôncavo-Tucano-Jatobá.


Araripe Basin; Missão Velha Formation; Fluvial facies; Architectural elements; Rift basins

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