Gaiteiros-1 borehole, located in the central Lusitanian Basin (Portugal), drilled a continuous Jurassic (Hettangian to Kimmeridgian) sedimentary sequence. Forty-one samples were selected for this study to characterize the dispersed organic matter and its vertical variation along Gaiteiros-1 borehole and to evaluate the environmental changes based on palynofacies and bulk geochemistry analyses.
Gaiteiros-1 borehole lithological sequence is characterized by a low organic carbon content, which varies between 0.10 wt% and 0.83 wt%, in Candeeiros carbonates and Lower Jurassic Coimbra Formation, respectively. The insoluble residue content indicate a carbonated character in almost the entire sequence, except for Kimmeridgian samples. The palynofacies analysis evidences the presence of the main groups of kerogen (Phytoclats, Amorphous and Palynomorphs) with a dominance of the amorphous group in the carbonated samples and phytoclasts in Kimmeridgian detritic samples. Different types of amorphous particles were identified, suggesting periods of reworking by bacterial activity and primary bioproductivity in depleted oxygen environments. Despite the dominance of amorphous particles, the kerogen groups vertical variation provides information that reveals changes in the depositional environment. The kerogen assemblage of the Candeeiros facies suggests a stratified water column, with well-oxygenated layers, responsible for high primary productivity periods, which allowed for the development of zooplankton, preserved in the form of zooclasts fragments and foraminiferal test-linings. The contribution of the Palynomorph group is scarce during the Lower-Middle Jurassic but increases in the Upper Jurassic. This modification in the kerogen assemblage reflects changes in the sea level, oxygenation conditions, climate and proximity to the terrestrial source area. The presence of Coleochaete-like freshwater algae was detected for the first time in the Lusitanian Basin, suggesting more restrictive conditions during the Late Oxfordian. During the Kimmeridgian, the amorphous material disappears and phytoclasts, mainly opaque phytoclasts, come to dominate the kerogen assemblage, as a result of terrigenous sediments input, due to the great proximity to the terrestrial source area.