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Muttoni G.,University of Milan | Muttoni G.,ALP Alpine Laboratory of Paleomagnetism | Scardia G.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Kent D.V.,Rutgers University | Kent D.V.,Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2010

A critical assesment of the available magnetostratigraphic and/or radiometric age constraints on key sites bearing hominin remains and/or lithic industries from southern Europe (Italy, France, Spain) leads us to propose that the main window of early hominin presence in southern Europe is broadly comprised between the Jaramillo subchron and the Brunhes-Matuyama boundary (i.e., subchron C1r.1r, 0.99-0.78. Ma). Within the dating uncertainties, this ∼ 200 ky time window broadly coincides with the late Early Pleistocene global climate transition that contains marine isotope stage (MIS) 22 (∼ 0.87. Ma), the first prominent cold stage of the Pleistocene. We suggest that aridification in North Africa and Eastern Europe, particularly harsh during MIS 22 times, triggered migration pulses of large herbivores, particularly elephants, from these regions into southern European refugia, and that hominins migrated with them. Finally, we speculate on common pathways of late Early Pleistocene dispersal of elephants and hominins from their home in savannah Africa to southern Europe, elephant and hominin buen retiro. In particular, we stress the importance of the Po Valley of northern Italy that became largely and permanently exposed only since MIS 22, thus allowing possibly for the first time in the Pleistocene viable new migration routes for large mammals and hominins across northern Italy to southern France and Spain in the west. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Kent D.V.,Rutgers University | Kent D.V.,Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory | Muttoni G.,University of Milan | Muttoni G.,ALP Alpine Laboratory of Paleomagnetism
Climate of the Past | Year: 2013

The small reservoir of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (pCO2) that modulates climate through the greenhouse effect reflects a delicate balance between large fluxes of sources and sinks. The major long-term source of CO2 is global outgassing from sea-floor spreading, subduction, hotspot activity, and metamorphism; the ultimate sink is through weathering of continental silicates and deposition of carbonates. Most carbon cycle models are driven by changes in the source flux scaled to variable rates of ocean floor production, but ocean floor production may not be distinguishable from being steady since 180 Ma. We evaluate potential changes in sources and sinks of CO2 for the past 120 Ma in a paleogeographic context. Our new calculations show that decarbonation of pelagic sediments by Tethyan subduction contributed only modestly to generally high pCO2 levels from the Late Cretaceous until the early Eocene, and thus shutdown of this CO2 source with the collision of India and Asia at the early Eocene climate optimum at around 50 Ma was inadequate to account for the large and prolonged decrease in pCO2 that eventually allowed the growth of significant Antarctic ice sheets by around 34 Ma. Instead, variation in area of continental basalt terranes in the equatorial humid belt (5 S-5 N) seems to be a dominant factor controlling how much CO2 is retained in the atmosphere via the silicate weathering feedback. The arrival of the highly weatherable Deccan Traps in the equatorial humid belt at around 50 Ma was decisive in initiating the long-term slide to lower atmospheric pCO2, which was pushed further down by the emplacement of the 30 Ma Ethiopian Traps near the equator and the southerly tectonic extrusion of SE Asia, an arc terrane that presently is estimated to account for 1/4 of CO2 consumption from all basaltic provinces that account for ↑1/3 of the total CO2 consumption by continental silicate weathering (Dessert et al., 2003). A negative climatefeedback mechanism that (usually) inhibits the complete collapse of atmospheric pCO2 is the accelerating formation of thick cation-deficient soils that retard chemical weathering of the underlying bedrock. Nevertheless, equatorial climate seems to be relatively insensitive to pCO2 greenhouse forcing and thus with availability of some rejuvenating relief as in arc terranes or thick basaltic provinces, silicate weathering in this venue is not subject to a strong negative feedback, providing an avenue for ice ages. The safety valve that prevents excessive atmospheric pCO2 levels is the triggering of silicate weathering of continental areas and basaltic provinces in the temperate humid belt. Excess organic carbon burial seems to have played a negligible role in atmospheric pCO2 over the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic. © Author(s) 2013.

Sulpizio R.,University of Bari | Sulpizio R.,CNR Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental Processes | Zanella E.,ALP Alpine Laboratory of Paleomagnetism | Macias J.L.,National Autonomous University of Mexico
Geological Society Special Publication | Year: 2015

New data on the pyroclastic density current (PDC) deposit temperature (Tdep) are provided for two prominent eruptions of Mexican volcanoes of the twentieth century: the 1982 eruption of El Chichón and the 1913 eruption of Colima. In spite of similar lithofacies, magma composition and pre-eruptive conditions, the Tdep of the PDCs from the 1982 (El Chichón) and 1913 (Colima) eruptions differ significantly, with intervals of Tdep of 360-420 °C and 250-330 °C, respectively. These new data emphasize that a full understanding of the physical mechanisms responsible for equilibrium temperature attainment within a pyroclastic deposit has not yet been realized. The Tdep measured for El Chichón PDC deposits confirm the preliminary data published elsewhere, while Colima magnetic temperatures provide different values to those published previously. supplementary-material: Tdep measurements for the different sites at El Chichon volcano and Colima volcano are available at: http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18695. © 2015 The Geological Society of London.

Mattei M.,Third University of Rome | Cifelli F.,Third University of Rome | Muttoni G.,University of Milan | Muttoni G.,ALP Alpine Laboratory of Paleomagnetism | Rashid H.,Third University of Rome
Journal of Asian Earth Sciences | Year: 2015

According to previous paleomagnetic analyses, the northward latitudinal drift of Iran related to the closure of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean resulted in the Late Triassic collision of Iran with the Eurasian plate and Cimmerian orogeny. The post-Cimmerian paleogeographic and tectonic evolution of Iran is instead less well known. Here we present new paleomagnetic data from the Upper Jurassic Bidou Formation of Central Iran, which we used in conjunction with published paleomagnetic data to reconstruct the history of paleomagnetic rotations and latitudinal drift of Iran during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. Paleomagnetic inclination values indicate that, during the Late Jurassic, the Central-East-Iranian Microcontinent (CEIM), consisting of the Yazd, Tabas, and Lut continental blocks, was located at low latitudes close to the Eurasian margin, in agreement with the position expected from apparent polar wander paths (APWP) incorporating the so-called Jurassic massive polar shift, a major event of plate motion occurring in the Late Jurassic from 160. Ma to 145-140. Ma. At these times, the CEIM was oriented WSW-ENE, with the Lut Block bordered to the south by the Neo-Tethys Ocean and to the southeast by the Neo-Sistan oceanic seaway. Subsequently, the CEIM underwent significant counter-clockwise (CCW) rotation during the Early Cretaceous. This rotation may have resulted from the northward propagation of the Sistan rifting-spreading axis during Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous, or to the subsequent (late Early Cretaceous?) eastward subduction and closure of the Sistan oceanic seaway underneath the continental margin of the Afghan Block. No rotations of, or within, the CEIM occurred during the Late Cretaceous-Oligocene, whereas a second phase of CCW rotation occurred after the Middle-Late Miocene. Both the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous and post Miocene CCW rotations are confined to the CEIM and do not seem to extend to other tectonic regions of Iran. Finally, an oroclinal bending mechanism is proposed for the origin of the curved Alborz Mountains, which acquired most of its curvature in the last 8. Myr. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Scardia G.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Donegana M.,CNR Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental Processes | Muttoni G.,University of Milan | Muttoni G.,ALP Alpine Laboratory of Paleomagnetism | And 2 more authors.
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2010

The Pleistocene history of climate control on sedimentation in the Southern Alps-Po Plain system, northern Italy, was reconstructed using an integrated magnetostratigraphic, palynological, and petrographical approach on a 47-m-deep core. The core mainly consists of lacustrine sediments pertaining to the Bagaggera sequence, deposited at the foothills of the Southern Alps during the late Matuyama subchron (0.99-0.78 Ma). At that time, climate worsened globally and locally it caused the progradation of an alluvial fan unit onto the nearby Po Plain, triggering lake formation by damming of a tributary valley. These new data are used in conjunction with data from the literature to highlight and track the effects of climate forcing on sedimentation during the late Matuyama subchron in different orographic and geodynamic settings of the Southern Alps-Po Plain system as part of the greater Alpine area. We found that the episodes of alluvial fan and braidplain progradation observed in the southern foreland of the Alps during the late Matuyama global cooling seem broadly synchronous with the deposition of most of the so-called Günz and Älterer Deckenschotter deposits in the northern forelands of the Alps as well as with the first major waxing of the Alpine valley glaciers, possibly around the Marine Isotope Stage 22 (∼0.87 Ma). © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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