A thick Pleistocene shelf and nearshore cyclical succession was deposited in the S. Mauro sub-basin of the Crotone basin (southern Italy). The regressive units of the cycles are mostly represented by coastal siliciclastic and bioclastic prograding wedges showing a clinoform geometry. These are separated by blanket-like deposits of high lateral persistence recording major transgressive episodes. The aim of this paper is (1) to describe facies patterns and depositional setting of two prograding wedges, particularly focussing on their polycyclic internal architecture, (2) to analyze these units within a sequence-stratigraphic framework, and (3) to speculate on the possible origin of the small-scale cyclicity. The two wedges analyzed in this paper consist of a number of shingles. Individual shingles consist of two physically connected units: (1) a relatively thin package of sigmoid clinoforms, grading into (2) a volumetrically dominant package of oblique-tangential clinoforms with toplap terminations. The shingles are bounded by seaward-dipping surfaces with sigmoid clinoform geometry, which are ravinement surfaces updip, passing into conformable flooding surfaces downdip. The wedges are thus organized into high-frequency, small-scale sequences, each comprising transgressive, highstand and falling-stage systems tracts. As a whole, individual prograding wedges are interpreted as forced-regressive units, as the shoreline was subject to an overall shift basinwards and downwards along a low-angle trajectory, in spite of the repeated minor relative sea-level rises. Tectonic subsidence, and particularly the syndepositional growth of gentle synclines, are thought to have been the key factors allowing the preservation of these forced-regressive units. Progradation of the wedges took place in a high-energy wave climate characterized by high frequency of storms and very efficient alongshore redistribution of sediments. Recurrent, storm-driven, offshore currents led to intense reworking of sediments on the topset platform and gravity spreading on the foreset slope of the prograding wedges. Well-oxygenated conditions over the shelf due to intensified storm activity during glacial periods may have enhanced the rate of production of skeletal, foramol-type carbonates. It can reasonably be assumed that progradation took place from a line source and that the sand bodies are to be regarded as coastal prograding bodies. In spite of active syndepositional tectonics, the cycles can be correlated to Pleistocene high-amplitude sea-level oscillations. The older of the two wedges can be correlated, through bio-magnetostratigraphy, to the major climatic transition which occurred from the marine oxygen-isotope stage 25 to 24-22 (Rio et al., 1996). The younger probably developed during the sea-level fall that ended with substage 18.2, as suggested by sequence- and bio-stratigraphic data. The prograding wedges are thus interpreted to record long-lived sea-level falls of fourth-order cycles. Due to the particular depositional setting, we are inclined to exclude authigenic mechanisms in the origin of small-scale cyclicity. Although the concomitance and interaction of different controlling factors may be taken into account, it is tempting to ascribe this cyclicity to minor eustatic changes punctuating long-lived, erratic falling stages, possibly accompanied by climate-driven fluctuations of sediment supply. Shelf-perched and shelf-edge prograding units consisting of foramol-type carbonates are apparently a common falling-stage to lowstand depositional feature in the Mediterranean area during the Late Pliocene and Pleistocene.

Sedimentary record of falling stages of Pleistocene glacio-eustatic cycles in shelf setting (Crotone Basin, south Italy)

PROSSER, Giacomo
1999

Abstract

A thick Pleistocene shelf and nearshore cyclical succession was deposited in the S. Mauro sub-basin of the Crotone basin (southern Italy). The regressive units of the cycles are mostly represented by coastal siliciclastic and bioclastic prograding wedges showing a clinoform geometry. These are separated by blanket-like deposits of high lateral persistence recording major transgressive episodes. The aim of this paper is (1) to describe facies patterns and depositional setting of two prograding wedges, particularly focussing on their polycyclic internal architecture, (2) to analyze these units within a sequence-stratigraphic framework, and (3) to speculate on the possible origin of the small-scale cyclicity. The two wedges analyzed in this paper consist of a number of shingles. Individual shingles consist of two physically connected units: (1) a relatively thin package of sigmoid clinoforms, grading into (2) a volumetrically dominant package of oblique-tangential clinoforms with toplap terminations. The shingles are bounded by seaward-dipping surfaces with sigmoid clinoform geometry, which are ravinement surfaces updip, passing into conformable flooding surfaces downdip. The wedges are thus organized into high-frequency, small-scale sequences, each comprising transgressive, highstand and falling-stage systems tracts. As a whole, individual prograding wedges are interpreted as forced-regressive units, as the shoreline was subject to an overall shift basinwards and downwards along a low-angle trajectory, in spite of the repeated minor relative sea-level rises. Tectonic subsidence, and particularly the syndepositional growth of gentle synclines, are thought to have been the key factors allowing the preservation of these forced-regressive units. Progradation of the wedges took place in a high-energy wave climate characterized by high frequency of storms and very efficient alongshore redistribution of sediments. Recurrent, storm-driven, offshore currents led to intense reworking of sediments on the topset platform and gravity spreading on the foreset slope of the prograding wedges. Well-oxygenated conditions over the shelf due to intensified storm activity during glacial periods may have enhanced the rate of production of skeletal, foramol-type carbonates. It can reasonably be assumed that progradation took place from a line source and that the sand bodies are to be regarded as coastal prograding bodies. In spite of active syndepositional tectonics, the cycles can be correlated to Pleistocene high-amplitude sea-level oscillations. The older of the two wedges can be correlated, through bio-magnetostratigraphy, to the major climatic transition which occurred from the marine oxygen-isotope stage 25 to 24-22 (Rio et al., 1996). The younger probably developed during the sea-level fall that ended with substage 18.2, as suggested by sequence- and bio-stratigraphic data. The prograding wedges are thus interpreted to record long-lived sea-level falls of fourth-order cycles. Due to the particular depositional setting, we are inclined to exclude authigenic mechanisms in the origin of small-scale cyclicity. Although the concomitance and interaction of different controlling factors may be taken into account, it is tempting to ascribe this cyclicity to minor eustatic changes punctuating long-lived, erratic falling stages, possibly accompanied by climate-driven fluctuations of sediment supply. Shelf-perched and shelf-edge prograding units consisting of foramol-type carbonates are apparently a common falling-stage to lowstand depositional feature in the Mediterranean area during the Late Pliocene and Pleistocene.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/3799
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