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The marine fossil record at Santa Maria Island (Azores)

Avila, Sergio P., Ramalho, Ricardo S., Habermann, Jorg M. and Titschack, Jurgen 2018. The marine fossil record at Santa Maria Island (Azores). Kueppers, Ulrich and Beier, Christoph, eds. Volcanoes of the Azores, Springer, pp. 155-196. (10.1007/978-3-642-32226-6_9)

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Santa Maria is the oldest island of the Azores Archipelago and is remarkably rich in exposed marine fossiliferous sediments and submarine volcanic sequences. This chapter summarises the geological history of the island and reports on the most important palaeontological studies done on the outcrops of Santa Maria since the early studies, during the 19th century. The most important early Pliocene and late Pleistocene (Last Interglacial) fossiliferous deposits are described and palaeoecological reconstructions are presented for each sedimentary succession. The most abundant, diversified and well-studied fossil groups are also reviewed, namely the algae, vertebrates (cetaceans and selaceans), and invertebrates (molluscs, echinoderms, brachiopods, crustaceans and ostracods). We also discuss the palaeontological significance of carbonate sequences in reefless volcanic oceanic islands. Finally, we discuss the importance of applied palaeontology, with products specifically designed for tourism, such as the Museum “House of the Fossils”, the “Route of the Fossils” project, and the “PalaeoPark Santa Maria”, all of them aiming to protect and conserve fossil sites, allowing at the same time, its sustainable use by locals and tourists.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9783642322259
ISSN: 21957029 21953589
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2021 10:45

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