Organic-rich sediments were deposited in the deeper sectors of the Neuquén Basin during the latest Jurassic and the Early Cretaceous. This paper presents the results of a detailed examination of these deposits in the northern-most extension of the basin, in the Mendoza Province, and explores their wider significance for palaeo-oxygenation studies. The Tithonian -Berriasian Vaca Muerta Formation, the primary s ource rock for the Neuquén Basin, comprises bituminous shales and interbedded limestones deposited during a major transgression. In the Valanginian, the beginning of a regressive phase enabled the development of shallow-marine carbonates to form the base of the Chachao Formation, which eventually led to extensive biohermal carbonates of the uppermost Chachao Formation. Along the length of the narrow N-S-trending Mendoza Shelf of the Neuquén Basin both units are well exposed, permitting detailed study of the stratigraphy, sedimentology, ichnology and palaeoecology. The analysis of the Tithonian-Valanginian succession in the Salado river valley shows that carbonate production increased up-section. Faunal associations are mostly limited to poorly diverse epibenthos and pseudoplankton in the lower part of the section (Vaca Muerta Formation), with increased diversity in the lower Chachao section, including shallow and deeper infaunal bivalves. A background level of laminated shales to Chondrites bioturbation is typical of anoxic-suboxic conditions. Micritic limestones and carbonate sandstones throughout the section commonly show the development of Thalassinoides suevicus. Relative oxygenation curves based on trace fossils and body f ossils were developed and compared. There was a primary substrate control on trace fossil diversity and occurrence, with a primary oxygenation signal provided by body fossil evidence. Interpretation of the palaeo-oxygenation on the basis of trace fossil taxa alone, however, would lead to inaccurate results. This study, therefore, demonstrates the importance of integrated trace and body fossil analysis in the fuller understanding of black shales.