Alpine Laboratory of Paleomagnetism

Massa, Italy

Alpine Laboratory of Paleomagnetism

Massa, Italy
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Caron B.,University Paris - Sud | Siani G.,University Paris - Sud | Sulpizio R.,CIRISIVU | Sulpizio R.,CNR Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental Processes | And 4 more authors.
Marine Geology | Year: 2012

A detailed tephrostratigraphic study supported by stable isotope (δ 18O) analyses and AMS 14C dating was carried out on a high sedimentation rate deep-sea core recovered in the northern Ionian Sea. Eight tephra layers were recognised, all originated from explosive eruptions of southern Italian volcanoes. These tephra layers are correlated with terrestrial proximal counterparts and with both marine and lacustrine tephra already known in the central Mediterranean area. The oldest tephra (dated at ca. 19.4ka cal BP) is tentatively correlated to the Monte Guardia eruption from Lipari Island. Two other rhyolitic tephra layers were correlated with the explosive volcanic activity of Lipari Island: Gabellotto-Fiumebianco/E-1 (8.3ka cal BP) located close to the interruption of Sapropel S1 deposit, and Monte Pilato (ca. AD 1335) in the uppermost part of the core. The Na-phonolitic composition of the other five recognised tephra layers indicates the Somma-Vesuvius as the source. The composition is quite homogeneous among the five tephra layers, and fits that of the Mercato proximal deposits. Beyond the striking chemical similarity with the Mercato eruption, these tephra layers span over ca. 2000years, preventing correlation with the single well known Plinian eruption of the Somma-Vesuvius. Therefore, at least two of these tephra layers were assigned to an interplinian activity of the Somma-Vesuvius between the eruptions of Mercato and Avellino, even though these eruptions remains poorly constrained in the proximal area. By contrast, the most prominent tephra layer (2mm white tephra visible at naked eyes) was found within the S1a Sapropel interval. Despite the possible complication for the presence of similar eruption with different ages we argue that Mercato is probably a very good marker for the onset of sapropelic condition in the Ionian Sea and can be used for land-sea correlations for this important climatic event. More in general, these data allow a significant update of the knowledge of the volcanic ash dispersal from Lipari and Somma-Vesuvius volcanoes. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Scardia G.,CNR Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering | De Franco R.,CNR Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental Processes | Muttoni G.,University of Milan | Muttoni G.,Alpine Laboratory of Paleomagnetism | And 5 more authors.
Tectonics | Year: 2012

This interdisciplinary study on the subsurface stratigraphy of the Po Plain (northern Italy) brings new evidence in support of a climate-driven erosional unloading of the Alps since the Middle Pleistocene. A newly acquired, high-resolution seismic profile and a critical review of industrial seismic lines were integrated with sedimentologic observations on four magnetostratigraphically dated continental cores to reconstruct a three-sequence evolution of the Pleistocene clastic infill in the northern Po basin. During the first sequence (PS1; ∼1.4-0.87 Ma), characterized by sedimentation rates of ∼34 cm/kyr outpacing regional subsidence, meandering river systems prograded over the basin passing downstream to a cyclothemic shelfal succession. The second sequence (PS2; ∼0.87-0.45 Ma), heralded by a regional unconformity (R surface) correlated to the onset of the major Pleistocene glaciations, was characterized by widespread continental sedimentation of generally distal braidplain. The third sequence (PS3; ∼0.45 Ma to present), marked at the base by another regional unconformity (Y surface), is characterized by proximal braided fluvial deposition under combined conditions of confinement, erosion, and bypass. We interpret the PS3 sequence as deposited under the effects of a flexural uplift of the northern Po Plain during the Middle Pleistocene starting at ∼0.45 Ma, in response to the long-term erosional unloading of the Alps triggered by the waxing and waning of Alpine glaciers since the late Early Pleistocene global cooling (∼0.9 Ma). According to our modeling, erosion on a relatively limited area of the Alpine mountain chain, ranging from 1.3 to 1.7 mm/yr in the axial sector to 0.1-0.3 mm/yr at the margins, has been able to trigger rock uplift over a wider area including the proximal peripheral basins. ©2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Airoldi G.M.,University of Otago | Airoldi G.M.,Alpine Laboratory of Paleomagnetism | Muirhead J.D.,University of Auckland | Muirhead J.D.,University of Idaho | And 5 more authors.
Tectonophysics | Year: 2016

Magma flow paths in sill-fed dikes of the Ferrar large igneous province (LIP), contrast with those predicted by classic models of dike transport in LIPs and magmatic rift settings. We examine anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) flow paths in dike networks at Terra Cotta Mountain and Mt. Gran, which intruded at paleodepths of ~ 2.5 and ~ 1.5 km. These intrusions (up to 30 m thick) exhibit irregular, interconnected dike-sill geometries and adjoin larger sills (~ 200–300 m thick) at different stratigraphic levels. Both shallowly dipping and sub-vertical magma flow components are interpreted from AMS measurements across individual intrusions, and often match macroscopic flow indicators and variations in dike attitudes. Flow paths suggest that intrusive patterns and magma flow directions depended on varying stress concentrations and rotations during dike and sill propagation, whereas a regional extensional tectonic control was negligible or absent. Unlike giant dike swarms in LIPs elsewhere (e.g., 1270 Ma MacKenzie LIP), dikes of the Ferrar LIP show no regionally consistent vertical or lateral flow patterns, suggesting these intrusion were not responsible for long-distance transport in the province. In the absence of regionally significant, colinear dike swarms, or observed intrusions at crustal depths ≥ 4 km, we suggest that long distance magma transport occurred in sills within Beacon Supergroup sedimentary rocks. This interpretation is consistent with existing geochemical data and thermal constraints, which support lateral magma flow for ~ 3,500 km across the Gondwana supercontinent before freezing. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Agnini C.,University of Padua | Agnini C.,CNR Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources | Spofforth D.J.A.,Robertson | Dickens G.R.,Rice University | And 7 more authors.
Climate of the Past | Year: 2016

We present records of stable carbon and oxygen isotopes, CaCO3 content, and changes in calcareous nannofossil assemblages across an 81m thick section of upper Paleocene-lower Eocene marine sedimentary rocks now exposed along the Cicogna Stream in northeast Italy. The studied stratigraphic section represents sediment accumulation in a bathyal hemipelagic setting from approximately 57.5 to 52.2Ma, a multi-million-year time interval characterized by perturbations in the global carbon cycle and changes in calcareous nannofossil assemblages. The bulk carbonate δ13C profile for the Cicogna section, once placed on a common timescale, resembles that at several other locations across the world, and includes both a long-term drop in δ13C and multiple short-term carbon isotope excursions (CIEs). This precise correlation of widely separated δ13C records in marine sequences results from temporal changes in the carbon composition of the exogenic carbon cycle. However, diagenesis has likely modified the δ13C record at Cicogna, an interpretation supported by variations in bulk carbonate δ18O, which do not conform to expectations for a primary signal. The record of CaCO3 content reflects a combination of carbonate dilution and dissolution, as also inferred at other sites. Our detailed documentation and statistical analysis of calcareous nannofossil assemblages show major differences before, during and after the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Other CIEs in our lower Paleogene section do not exhibit such a distinctive change; instead, these events are sometimes characterized by variations restricted to a limited number of taxa and transient shifts in the relative abundance of primary assemblage components. Both long-lasting and short-lived modifications to calcareous nannofossil assemblages preferentially affected nannoliths or holococcoliths such as Discoaster, Fasciculithus, Rhomboaster/Tribrachiatus, Sphenolithus and Zygrhablithus, which underwent distinct variations in abundance as well as permanent evolutionary changes in terms of appearances and disappearances. By contrast, placoliths such as Coccolithus and Toweius, which represent the main component of the assemblages, were characterized by a gradual decline in abundance over time. Comparisons of detailed nannofossil assemblage records at the Cicogna section and at ODP Site 1262 support the idea that variations in the relative and absolute abundances, even some minor changes, were globally synchronous. An obvious link is through climate forcing and carbon cycling, although the linkages between variations in calcareous nannoplankton, changes in δ13C records and oceanography will need additional work. © 2016 Author(s).

Kent D.V.,Rutgers University | Kent D.V.,Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory | Kjarsgaard B.A.,Geological Survey of Canada | Gee J.S.,University of California at San Diego | And 3 more authors.
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems | Year: 2015

Different versions of a composite apparent polar wander (APW) path of variably selected global poles assembled and averaged in North American coordinates using plate reconstructions show either a smooth progression or a large (∼30°) gap in mean paleopoles in the Late Jurassic, between about 160 and 145 Ma. In an effort to further examine this issue, we sampled accessible outcrops/subcrops of kimberlites associated with high-precision U-Pb perovskite ages in the Timiskaming area of Ontario, Canada. The 154.9 ± 1.1 Ma Peddie kimberlite yields a stable normal polarity magnetization that is coaxial within less than 5° of the reverse polarity magnetization of the 157.5 ± 1.2 Ma Triple B kimberlite. The combined ∼156 Ma Triple B and Peddie pole (75.5°N, 189.5°E, A95 = 2.8°) lies about midway between igneous poles from North America nearest in age (169 Ma Moat volcanics and the 146 Ma Ithaca kimberlites), showing that the polar motion was at a relatively steady yet rapid (∼1.5°/Myr) pace. A similar large rapid polar swing has been recognized in the Middle to Late Jurassic APW path for Adria-Africa and Iran-Eurasia, suggesting a major mass redistribution. One possibility is that slab breakoff and subduction reversal along the western margin of the Americas triggered an episode of true polar wander. Key Points: U-Pb-dated kimberlites provide reliable paleomagnetic poles for North America Kimberlite paleopoles confirm 30° polar shift in Late Jurassic Polar shift may represent an episode of true polar wander at 1.5°/Myr © 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Dallanave E.,University of Padua | Dallanave E.,Alpine Laboratory of Paleomagnetism | Tauxe L.,University of California at San Diego | Muttoni G.,Alpine Laboratory of Paleomagnetism | And 2 more authors.
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems | Year: 2010

We describe a scenario of climate forcing on sedimentation recorded in the late Paleocene-early Eocene Cicogna marine section from the Belluno Basin (NE Italy). Previously published magneto-biostratigraphic data revealed that the ∼81 m Cicogna section extends from Chron C25r to Chron C23r spanning the NP7/NP8-NP12 nannofossil zones (∼52.2-56.6 Ma). Using previously published rock magnetic data, augmented by data from this study, we describe and thoroughly discuss a pronounced increase of hematite (relative to maghemite or magnetite) between ∼54.9 and 54.6 Ma immediately above the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, followed by a second, long-term increasing trend from ∼54 Ma up to ∼52.2 Ma in the early Eocene. This hematite is essentially of detrital origin, insofar as it is associated with a strong shallow bias of paleomagnetic inclinations, and is interpreted to have formed on land by the weathering of Fe-bearing silicates and other primary minerals. We speculate that the warm and humid climate typical of the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM, ∼54.9 Ma) as well as of the warming trend leading to the early Eocene climatic optimum (EECO; ∼52-50 Ma) enhanced continental weathering of silicate rocks with the consequent production, transport, and sedimentation of detrital hematite grains. This hypothesis is confirmed by a statistical correlation between the rock magnetic properties and global climate as revealed by a standard benthic oxygen isotope record from the literature. Our temporal coupling between oxidation state of sedimentary magnetic phases and global climate is therefore consistent with the existence in the Paleocene-Eocene of the silicate weathering negative feedback mechanism for the long-term stabilization of the Earth's surface temperature. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

Roveri M.,University of Parma | Roveri M.,Alpine Laboratory of Paleomagnetism | Roveri M.,CNR Marine Science Institute | Manzi V.,University of Parma | And 7 more authors.
American Journal of Science | Year: 2014

The salt giant beneath the deep Mediterranean seafloor is the impressive record of the Messinian salinity crisis, a dramatic event that occurred about 6Ma ago following the reduction of the connections with the Atlantic Ocean. According to the shallow-water deep-basin model, developed for these deposits (Hsü and others, 1973a, 1973b, 1978a, 1978b), the Messinian evaporites formed in a deep but desiccated Mediterranean, while shelves and slopes underwent subaerial erosion due to fluvial rejuvenation triggered by a 1500 m sea level drawdown. Deeply incised Messinian canyons in the continental slopes surrounding the Mediterranean are the main argument supporting this scenario. Using a state of the art model and idealized but realistic numerical simulations, here we demonstrate that the activation of downslope flows of hypersaline, dense waters, in a process similar to present-day dense shelf water cascading, but much more energetic, may account for both slope erosion and progressive salinity rise leading to the formation of deep-seated supersaturated brines. Our findings support a deep-water deep-basin model (Schmalz, 1969, 1991; De Benedetti, 1976, 1982; Dietz and Woodhouse, 1988), thus implying that evaporite deposition may have occurred in a non-desiccated basin with strongly reduced ocean connections.

Nomade S.,French Climate and Environment Sciences Laboratory | Muttoni G.,University of Milan | Muttoni G.,Alpine Laboratory of Paleomagnetism | Guillou H.,French Climate and Environment Sciences Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Quaternary Geochronology | Year: 2011

The Ceprano calvarium, found in 1994 in Italy and attributed to Homo cepranensis, is one of the most celebrated hominin remains of Europe. It was considered at least 700 ka-old until a recent investigation incorporating magnetostratigraphy and K-Ar ages from the literature assigned to the calvarium an age of ~450 (+50, -100) ka. Here we pin down the age of the Ceprano calvarium to 353 ± 4 ka (±1σ external) by means of new 40Ar/39Ar dating on K-feldspars retrieved from the sediments that hosted the skull. In absence of evidence of reworking, this refined age sinks the conviction that H. cepranensis belonged to human evolution at the Brunhes-Matuyama boundary (c.a. 781 ka). Our refined age indicates that H. cepranensis lived in central Italy probably during the cold period of marine isotope stage (MIS) 10, and that despite his archaic morphology and lack of Neanderthal traits, he was contemporaneous with more advanced species such as H. heidelbergensis. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Mattei M.,Third University of Rome | Muttoni G.,University of Milan | Muttoni G.,Alpine Laboratory of Paleomagnetism | Cifelli F.,Third University of Rome
Geology | Year: 2014

Modern generations of apparent polar wander paths (APWPs) show the occurrence in North American and African coordinates of a major and rapid shift in pole position (plate shift) during the Middle to Late Jurassic (175-145 Ma) that alternative curves from the literature tend to underestimate. This Jurassic massive polar shift (JMPS), of vast and as-yet unexplored paleogeographic implications, is also predicted for Eurasia from the North Atlantic plate circuit, but Jurassic data from this continent are scanty and problematic. Here we present paleomagnetic data from the Kimmeridgian-Tithonian (upper Jurassic) Garedu Formation of Iran, which was part of Eurasia since the Triassic. Paleomagnetic component directions of primary (pre-folding) age indicate a paleolatitude of deposition that is in excellent agreement with the latitude drop predicted for Iran from APWPs incorporating the JMPS. Moreover, we show that paleolatitudes calculated from these APWPs, used in conjunction with simple zonal climate belts, better explain the overall stratigraphic evolution of Iran during the Mesozoic. As Iran drifted from the tropical arid belt to the mid-latitude humid belt in the Late Triassic, carbonate platform productivity stopped while widespread coal-bearing sedimentation started, whereas as Iran returned to arid tropical latitudes during the JMPS, carbonate platform productivity and evaporitic sedimentation resumed. These results illustrate (1) the potent, but often neglected, control that plate motion (continental drift and/or true polar wander) across zonal climate belts exerts on the genesis of sedimentary facies; and (2) the importance of precisely controlled paleogeographic reconstructions for tectonic interpretations, especially during times of fast plate motion like the Jurassic. As a suggestion for future research, we predict that the adoption of Eurasian reference paleopoles incorporating the JMPS may lead to a reconciliation (or reinterpretation) of existing geologic and paleomagnetic data regarding the deformation history of central Asia.© 2014 Geological Society of America.

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