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Peveragno, Italy

Gennari R.,University of Parma | Gennari R.,ALP Laboratory | Manzi V.,University of Parma | Manzi V.,ALP Laboratory | And 13 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2013

The Legnagnone section (North-eastern Apennines) represents one of the few shallow water records of the onset of the Messinian salinity crisis. Here we present a detailed description of a ~200kyr time interval encompassing the pre-/syn-evaporitic transition based on a multidisciplinary approach, integrating sedimentological, bio-magnetostratigraphical, palaeontological and stable isotope data. Such a shallow water setting is potentially more sensitive to the palaeoenvironmental change leading to the MSC than the more often studied deeper Mediterranean basin. The aquatic palaeoenvironmental reconstruction proposed here is based on the study of foraminifer, ostracod and mollusc assemblages. It depicts a change from infralittoral (20-50m) to inner circalittoral environment (60-100m) that, since 6.12Ma, was progressively affected by a reduction of oxygen at the sea floor punctuated by short-lived anoxic events. At least three cooling events have been recognized on the basis of relative abundance data in mid to high altitude pollen, which, before 6.03Ma, are in phase with abundance peaks of Turborotalia spp., a taxon indicating eutrophic and cool surface waters. The absence of stress-tolerant benthic foraminifers during these peaks points to strong ventilation episodes triggered by a generally cooler climate. The proximity of a deltaic system and the consequent riverine input probably caused a salinity decrease of the surface waters, hindering the proliferation of planktonic foraminifers in the water column, which prevalently occur in short influxes and disappear at ca. 6Ma. Our results suggest that the onset of the crisis occurred during a phase of relative sea level high stand, whereas no evidences of sea level drop can be envisaged. The palaeoclimatic reconstruction based on palynological data indicates the dominance of a "subtropical humid forest" vegetation type, where fresh water swamps are well represented. From 6.03Ma onward, the transition to the salinity crisis is marked by more pronounced cyclical expansions of the temperate broad-leaved deciduous forest, along with herbaceous taxa. The establishment of the strongly evaporative condition at the crisis onset is not associated with major vegetational changes towards drier conditions, but linked to a sudden increase of δ18O and the disappearance of benthic foraminifers just prior to the deposition of the 1st laminated carbonate, which represents the base of the Primary Lower Gypsum unit. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Omodeo Sale S.,University of Parma | Omodeo Sale S.,Institute Geologia Economica | Gennari R.,University of Parma | Gennari R.,ALP Laboratory | And 5 more authors.
Basin Research | Year: 2012

The Late Messinian fill of the Nijar Basin (Betic Cordillera, southeastern Spain) mainly consists of clastic deposits of the Feos Formation that at basin margins rest unconformably above the primary evaporites of the Yesares Formation, the local equivalent of the Mediterranean Lower Gypsum. The Feos Fm. records the upward transition towards non-marine environments before the abrupt return to fully marine conditions at the base of the Pliocene. The Feos Fm. is clearly two-phase, with 'lower' and 'upper' members, which exhibit substantial differences in terms of facies, thickness, depositional trends and cyclical organization. These members record two distinct sedimentary and tectonic stages of Nijar Basin infilling. A high-resolution, physical-stratigraphic framework is proposed based on key beds and stratigraphic cyclicity and patterns that differ largely from those of most previously published studies. The predominant influence on stratigraphic cyclicity is interpreted to be precessionally driven climate changes, allowing their correlation to the Late Messinian astronomically calibrated chronostratigraphic framework. Detailed correlations suggest a phase of enhanced tectonic activity, possibly related to the Serrata-Carboneras strike-slip fault zone, during the first stage ('lower' member), resulting in a strongly articulated topography with structural lows and highs controlling sediment thickness and facies variation. Tectonic activity decreased during the second stage ('upper' member), which is characterized by (1) a progressively dampened and homogenized, (2) overall relative base-level rise and (3) gradual establishment of hypohaline environments. Facies characteristics, overall stacking patterns and depositional trends of the Feos Fm. are analogous with uppermost Messinian successions of the Northern Apennines, Piedmont Basin and Calabria. Despite minor differences related to the local geodynamic setting, these basins experienced a common Late Messinian history that supports the development of a single, large Mediterranean water body characterized by high-frequency, climatically-driven changes in sediment flux and base-level. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers and International Association of Sedimentologists. Source

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