Proposal of new lithostratigraphic units for the Devonian of the Rio do Peixe Basin, Northeast of Brazil

Subsurface stratigraphic analysis of Devonian strata in the Rio do Peixe Basin, newly recognized by palynological studies, has resulted in the identification of two new formations assembled in the newly established Santa Helena Group. These units were characterized using cores, sidewall and cuttings samples, conventional well logs, image log and 3D seismic data. The Pilões Formation, the lower unit, is composed mainly of dark mudstones and medium-to-very fine-grained sandstones, with minor conglomerates and breccias, and the Triunfo Formation, the upper unit, comprises whitish grey, kaolinitic, coarse-grained to conglomeratic, cross stratified sandstones and conglomerates, with interbedded mudstones and fine-grained sandstones. The Pilões Formation is represented by prodeltaic lagoonal-lacustrine facies, with lesser associated subaqueous talus, debrite and sandy turbidite lobe facies, part of fandelta and delta systems. The Triunfo Formation is interpreted as braided fluviodeltaic facies. The Santa Helena Group corresponds to the Lower Devonian tectono-sequence deposited in a NW-SE-trending graben during a transgressive-regressive cycle. With 343 m of thickness (isochore) in well 1-PIL-1-PB (Pilões 1), this sequence has a non-conformity at the lower boundary and its upper boundary is an angular unconformity that represents a hiatus of about 265 Myr, at the base of the Lower Cretaceous tectono-sequence (Rio do Peixe Group). Ignimbrites and co-ignimbrite breccias (Poço da Jurema volcanic breccia) were recognized at the northern margin of the Sousa half-graben. There is evidence that the pyroclastic event is coeval with the Lower Devonian graben filling. The results of this study indicate a polyhistorical tectono-volcano-sedimentary evolution of the basin. This lithostratigraphic update brings new perspectives for geological research in the Rio do Peixe Basin, as well as in other inland basins of the Northeast of Brazil.