Integrated data of calcareous plankton and benthic foraminifers from the pre-evaporitic interval of Trave section (Central Italy) allowed the reconstruction of surface and bottom-water conditions in the Central Mediterranean during the interval from 7.61 to 6.33 Ma, preceding the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Our data point out a three-step paleoenvironmental evolution. During the ﬁrst stage (7.61–7.02 Ma) benthic foraminiferal assemblages depict stable, well-oxygenated and ventilated bottom-water conditions, while the surface water records variable temperature and high nutrient conditions, probably associated with strong seasonality. The second stage (7.02–6.70 Ma) points to unfavourable bottom-water condition, triggered by deep-sea stagnation. This is witnessed by a signiﬁcant decrease in oxygen concentration and biotic diversity, and by the presence of stress-tolerant taxa. A general warming of the surface water and a strongly stratiﬁed water column, characterized by an expanded mixed layer, are also recorded. From 6.70 Ma onwards (third stage), a prominent change to more restricted, low-oxygenated, hypersaline conditions at the sea ﬂoor is testiﬁed by the total disappearance of deep-dwelling planktonic foraminifers and the increasing abundance of stress-tolerant species. Calcareous plankton reﬂects high instability of the surface water in terms of nutrients, temperature and salinity. During this stage the environmental deterioration reaches intermediate depths in the water column. The initial change toward a step-wise isolation of the Central Mediterranean bottom-waters is probably related to a general warming, responsible for a ﬁrst slowing-down of the vertical circulation, favouring stratiﬁcation of surface and intermediate waters and stagnation of bottom-waters. This warming is related to the restricted connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, which occurred since 7.146 Ma. In the Trave section, the isolation of bottom-waters most likely occurred at the same time as in other Mediterranean sections. However, due to the presence of a hiatus it cannot be excluded that it occurred with a delay of ~100 kyr, probably related to the shallower paleodepth of the basin.
|Titolo:||Paleoenvironmental conditions preceding the Messinian Salinity Crisis in the Central Mediterranean: integrated data from the Upper Miocene Trave section (Italy)|
|Autori interni:||DI STEFANO, Agata|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2010|
|Rivista:||PALAEOGEOGRAPHY PALAEOCLIMATOLOGY PALAEOECOLOGY|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|