Statistical Time-Series Analysis and Sedimentological Tuning of Bedding Rhythms in a Triassic Basinal Succession (Southern Alps, Italy)
Published:January 01, 2004
Florian Maurer, Linda Hinnov, Wolfgang Schlager, 2004. "Statistical Time-Series Analysis and Sedimentological Tuning of Bedding Rhythms in a Triassic Basinal Succession (Southern Alps, Italy)", Cyclostratigraphy: Approaches and Case Histories, Bruno D’Argenio, Alfred G. Fischer, Isabella Premoli Silva, Helmut Weissert, Vittoria Ferreri
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Zircon dates and orbital interpretation of bedding rhythms have yielded very different estimates on the duration of Middle Triassi stages. Recently, a core was drilled in Middle Triassic basin sediments at Seceda (western Dolomites) to directly compare cyclostratigraphy with geochronologic data. Detailed study of facies, sediment sources, and transport mechanisms formed the basis of the statistical analysis of bedding rhythms that are based on a grayscale scan and a gamma-ray well log. Amplitude spectrograms reveal strong frequency components at f = 0.025 cycles/cm in the main nodular limestone interval (92–64 m core depth), corresponding to the dominant 40 cm bedding thickness. Significant spectral differences were found between the grayscale and gamma-ray bedding proxies, placing doubt on the appropriateness of the use of the latter as an effective tool in cyclostratigraphy. In the uppermost part of the succession (59–45 m core depth) calciturbidites constitute more than 50% of the rock volume. If turbidites and tuffs are removed from the rock column, the spectrogram in this interval becomes much smoother and significant peaks appear at higher frequencies. The signals of this pelagic background sedimentation were extracted by bandpass filtering and show strong similarities to Milankovitch cycles in the Quaternary. According to this cyclostrati-graphic interpretation, the dominant 40 cm bedding rhythm was produced by eccentricity, and the average sedimentation rate results in ~3.6 mm/ky. This estimate is in contrast to zircon data from volcaniclastic layers that bracket this core interval and suggest a sedimentation rate of 13.5 mm/ky. As it currently stands, neither of the two interpretations is yet fully satisfactory. Although the presence of orbital variations in the Triassic analogous to those predicted for the last 20 My remains questionable owing the presumed chaotic behavior of the planets, the zircon age data have uncertainties related to their origin that remain unaccounted for and require further investigation.
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Cyclostratigraphy: Approaches and Case Histories
This volume is derived from an SEPM international workshop entitled Multidisciplinary Approach to Cyclostratigraphy, organized by the editors in May 2001 and held in Sorrento (Naples, Italy). In the Introduction we offer a brief history of how concepts of orbital cyclicity and its effects on the Earth evolved, an appraisal of the present state of research, and an overview of the papers in this volume. The main body of the volume consists of the contributed studies. These include a paper on conceptual and pragmatic approaches to stratification cycles by one of the pioneers of cyclostratigraphy, Walther Schwarzacher, who, in the 1940s, discovered the hierarchical expression of orbital cycles in rocks. The other contributions are specific studies of cyclic sequences, extending from the Quaternary back to the Triassic, covering the range from continental deposits to the deep sea, and employing a wide variety of techniques for extracting and processing the information.