The Paraná Basin, the largest basin in South America, received glacially derived sediments during the Late Palaeozoic Ice Age (LPIA) of the Gondwana supercontinent. Despite the importance of this basin for understanding the continental development of the Gondwana glaciation, and the fact that ca. 95% of this basin is not exposed at the surface, few attempts have been made to connect the exposed glacial strata to the subsurface record. In this paper, exposures of glacial cycles in the Upper Itararé Group in Santa Catarina State, southern Brazil, are analyzed, locally correlated and then linked to the three major glacial cycles previously described from subsurface studies along the basin. Together study areas (Doutor Pedrinho and Vidal Ramos) record five, partially comparable shorter glacial subcycles (relative to the major glacial cycles). These series comprise coarse-grained subaqueous outwash deposits, turbidite sand sheets, marine shales, and diamictites, the latter mostly derived from delta slope failure and ensuing resedimentation. In addition to sedimentological and genetic stratigraphic description and analysis, preliminary age determination based on the palynological content is also presented. Besides, a regional correlation of the described succession to the subsurface record is proposed based on well logs and core information. All the palynomorph associations identified from the exposed successions, which represent the upper third part of the Itararé Group, are related to the Subzone Protohaploxypinus goraiensis, base of the Vittatina costabilis Zone. This zone and correlated ones along the Gondwana are considered Early Permian in age. However, a first isotopic age recently obtained for the upper Itararé Group and published elsewhere is considered within a regional stratigraphic framework once it leads to new insights in terms of the LPIA time span recorded in the Paraná Basin.
- Itararé Group
- Sequence stratigraphy