One of these localities (see picture below), I have visited at least since 2000, and up until very recently, we thought that the only formations present there were the Early Oligocene San Sebastián Formation and the overlying Lares Limestone. Now, thanks to new information regarding the stratigraphy of the Tertiary limestones of the north coast of Puerto Rico (Ortega Ariza, 2009), we know that in this locality, overlying the Lares Ls, there are also units of the Montebello Limestone. The age of the Lares Limestone and Montebello Limestone were designated as Late Oligocene – lower Early Miocene and upper Early Miocene, respectively (Seiglie & Moussa, 1984). New data, using strontium isotopes obtained from tubes of the pelecypod Kuphus incrassatus, seems to indicate, instead, that both formations span the Late Oligocene (Johnson et al., 2006; Ramírez et al., 2006; Ortega Ariza, 2009). If this is correct (more samples need to be run, hint, hint!!) I will like this outcrop even more (sorry, can't hide my love for the Oligocene)!!
Here's the one of my favorite outcrops, where the Lares and Montebello limestones are exposed. The arrow points to a sirenian fossil that is yet to be collected.
Of course, what I’ve been mostly searching in these localities are sirenian remains, but like I mentioned on that previous post, other vertebrates have also been collected. Interestingly, the best sirenian remains have been collected from the upper Lares Limestone, with a total (so far) of two skulls, and a set of nine articulated vertebrae (see picture below). There are more fossils but those will be collected in due time. As for the sirenian skulls, well, they are an important part of my thesis work and I will discuss them at some point in the future.
Some articulated sirenian vertebrae, these have already been collected. This is an earlier picture, there were three more vertebrae behind the one labeled Ca1, the ones anterior to L3 were collected earlier.
Johnson, C. C., W. R. Ramírez, L. R. Mark, S. Y. Hernandez, E. A. Barrow, M. Hegewald & J. Velez. 2006. Oligocene reef deposits linked to OPD site 999 with strontium isotope stratigraphy. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Program 38:557.
Ortega Ariza, D. L. 2009. Establishing a high resolution sequence stratigraphy and sea-level curve for Tertiary limestones, Puerto Rico. M.S. thesis, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, 132 pp.
Ramírez, W. R., C. C. Johnson, M. Martínez, M. C. Torres & V. Ortiz. 2006. Strontium isotope stratigraphy from Kuphus incrassatus, Cenozoic limestones, Puerto Rico. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Program 38:90.Seiglie, G. A. & M. T. Moussa. 1984. Late Oligocene-Pliocene trangressive-regressive cycles of sedimentation in northwestern Puerto Rico. American Association of Petroleum Geologist Memoir 36:89-95.