This study of the type and scales of depositional processes and landscape development in western Amazonia during the Miocene is based on the description and interpretation of three boreholes from the Marañon basin (Peru). The Miocene Pebas Formation, and the overlying Marañon Formation and underlying Chambira Formation are lithologically characterised. An age calculation model indicates an Oligocene age for the Chambira Formation, and an Early – early late Miocene age for the Pebas Formation. The base of the Chambira Formation is placed at a sequence boundary and corresponds to the beginning of a regression. The succession was deposited in floodplains included in a RST and a LST under a seasonal climate with a pronounced dry season. The base of the Pebas Formation is placed at a TS. It represents TST and HST lacustrine and swamp settings at or near sealevel, formed in a tropical monsoon climate alike the present-day climate in the region. At the time, the area was a mosaic of lakes, swamps and fluvial belts, but experienced tidal influence as well. During apparently regularly recurring base level highstands, open aquatic settings (lakes at sea level) were widespread. The depositional system was driven by tectonic subsidence in the area, uplift and erosion in the Andean hinterland and the western rim of the Pebas system (the developing Subandean zone), delta lobe switching and river belt avulsions, as well as presumable Milankovitch scale precipitation/erosion cycles and eustatic sea level variation. The base of the Marañon Formation is placed at a sequence boundary. It represents the end of the Pebas lake/wetland system, and the change to permanent fluvial conditions during the Late Miocene RST and LST.

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Scripta Geologica

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Naturalis journals & series

Wesselingh, F., Guerrero, J., Räsänen, M. E., Romero Pittmann, L., & Vonhof, H. B. (2006). Landscape evolution and depositional processes in the Miocene Amazonian Pebas lake/wetland system: evidence from exploratory boreholes in northeastern Peru. Scripta Geologica, 133, 323–363.