Stratigraphy and sequence correlations in the Lower Cretaceous around Lisbon


  • J. Rey Prof. Emeritus, Univ. Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France
  • P. S. Caetano GeoBioTec, Earth Sciences Department, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Universidade NOVA Lisboa, Campus de Caparica.P-2829-516 Caparica, Portugal



depositional sequences, Lower Cretaceous, Lisbon, Lusitanian Basin


The cliffs along the Atlantic coast near Lisbon—between Cascais and Guincho Beach, near Ericeira, and north of Cape Espichel—exhibit perfectly preserved Lower Cretaceous formations, with a large variety of sedimentary deposits (siliciclastics and carbonates) and recorded environments (from open distal platform to fluvial systems and palaeosols). These exposures allow the stratal, sedimentological, palaeontological, mineralogical, and geochemical patterns of depositional sequences during the Valanginian–Albian to be analyzed. The series representing the deepest marine environments are found in the vicinity of Cascais, with deposits in more proximal positions being observed both northwards (the Ericeira area) and southwards (Cape Espichel). The cyclic variations in sea level at the second-order scale record the tectonic events linked to the initial episodes of the northward propagation of the opening of the Atlantic. The sea-level changes observed at the third-order scale are registered by transgressive and highstand systems tracts. Lowstand systems tracts are very scarce in these shallow environments.