Abstract

The outcrops at Jesús María (Turrialba, Cartago Province, Costa Rica) present limestone sequences 12 to 30 m thick (packstones: biolithites, biomicrites; and wackstones: biosparites, biomicrosparites), sandstones and conglomerates of Upper Oligocene-Lower Miocene age, correlated to the Punta Pelada Formation. The limestones are characterized by patch reefs with an irregular distribution and a reduced lateral extension (50 m), composed of corals (40%), calcareous algae and foraminiferans (30%), mollusks (20%), and in minor amounts fragments of barnacles, decapods, echinoderms and bryozoans. They consisted of low diversity communities possibly due to diverse geographical, geological and tectonic factors: a narrow continental shelf, very shallow and isolated environments, sea level fluctuations, and exposure to clastic sedimentation associated with intermitent volcanic activity. Equity was also low, with corals making up 40% of all macrofossils, and one species, Antiguastrea cellulosa, as predominant (80% of the corals present). These bioconstructions were developed in an open circulation lagoon environment with transitions, in several occassions, to shallower environments represented by clastic sediments.
Keywords: Fossil reef, Oligocene, Miocene, Costa Rica, patch reef, Antiguastrea