A mineralogical and geochemical study of clay lithologies and a biostratigraphic analysis of the carbonates from the deep-sea Lagonegro Basin (Southern Apennines—Italy) have been carried out to deduce in general the provenance of clay sediments and their paleoenvironmental conditions and particular to recognize the signature of the Paleocene–Eocene climatic global warming. The analysed succession comprising a wide stratigraphic interval of the Sannio Unit, spanning between Albian to the upper Oligocene–lower Miocene, is exposed near Accettura and Stigliano villages. Eighteen clay samples were analysed by XRD, XRF, SEM, TG-DTA. Their age was framed by biostratigraphic analyses carried out on carbonate sediments. Mineral assemblage of the clay sediments includes quartz, carbonates (calcite and dolomite), feldspars (plagioclase and k-feldspars), hematite, randomly illite/smectite mixed layers with a low illite percentage, kaolinite, discrete illite–muscovite, chlorite, palygorskite and sepiolite. The low illite percentage in randomly illite/smectite mixed layers indicates low diagenetic conditions for the studied successions. These features are unique for the Cretaceous–Tertiary successions of the Lagonegro domain and are particularly significant for the preservation of the native mineralogical assemblage useful to determine the provenance and paleoenvironmental conditions of the clayey sediments. Palygorskite and sepiolite are concentrated in the upper Paleocene–middle Eocene stratigraphic interval and particularly in the upper part of the early Eocene—lower part of the middle Eocene (biozone of Blow P 9–12). Clay sediments rich in palygorskite and sepiolite show a higher P2O5 amount and a lower kaolinite percentage, compatible with warm and arid climatic conditions typical of the global warming event well recorded in the southern tethyan margin. Likely palygorskite and sepiolite formed in lagoonal environment in nearby carbonate platform margins and then they were transported into the Lagonegro Basin as indicated by the well developed habitus of palygorskite. During the Paleogene the Lagonegro Basin and the nearby carbonate platforms represented a key sector the southern paleodomains of the Tethys. The discovery of these minerals gives a contribution to the reconstruction paleoenvironmental conditions of the Tethian paleo-margin during the early–middle Eocene.

Occurrence of palygorskite and sepiolite in upper Paleocene–middle Eocene marine deep sediments of the Lagonegro Basin (Southern Apennines—Italy): Paleoenvironmental and provenance inferences

BENTIVENGA, Mario;PROSSER, Giacomo;Cavalcante, Francesco
2011

Abstract

A mineralogical and geochemical study of clay lithologies and a biostratigraphic analysis of the carbonates from the deep-sea Lagonegro Basin (Southern Apennines—Italy) have been carried out to deduce in general the provenance of clay sediments and their paleoenvironmental conditions and particular to recognize the signature of the Paleocene–Eocene climatic global warming. The analysed succession comprising a wide stratigraphic interval of the Sannio Unit, spanning between Albian to the upper Oligocene–lower Miocene, is exposed near Accettura and Stigliano villages. Eighteen clay samples were analysed by XRD, XRF, SEM, TG-DTA. Their age was framed by biostratigraphic analyses carried out on carbonate sediments. Mineral assemblage of the clay sediments includes quartz, carbonates (calcite and dolomite), feldspars (plagioclase and k-feldspars), hematite, randomly illite/smectite mixed layers with a low illite percentage, kaolinite, discrete illite–muscovite, chlorite, palygorskite and sepiolite. The low illite percentage in randomly illite/smectite mixed layers indicates low diagenetic conditions for the studied successions. These features are unique for the Cretaceous–Tertiary successions of the Lagonegro domain and are particularly significant for the preservation of the native mineralogical assemblage useful to determine the provenance and paleoenvironmental conditions of the clayey sediments. Palygorskite and sepiolite are concentrated in the upper Paleocene–middle Eocene stratigraphic interval and particularly in the upper part of the early Eocene—lower part of the middle Eocene (biozone of Blow P 9–12). Clay sediments rich in palygorskite and sepiolite show a higher P2O5 amount and a lower kaolinite percentage, compatible with warm and arid climatic conditions typical of the global warming event well recorded in the southern tethyan margin. Likely palygorskite and sepiolite formed in lagoonal environment in nearby carbonate platform margins and then they were transported into the Lagonegro Basin as indicated by the well developed habitus of palygorskite. During the Paleogene the Lagonegro Basin and the nearby carbonate platforms represented a key sector the southern paleodomains of the Tethys. The discovery of these minerals gives a contribution to the reconstruction paleoenvironmental conditions of the Tethian paleo-margin during the early–middle Eocene.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/22231
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