Integrated magnetobiostratigraphy of the middle Eocene–lower Oligocene interval from the Monte Cagnero section, central Italy
Luigi Jovane, Jairo F. Savian, Rodolfo Coccioni, Fabrizio Frontalini, Giuseppe Bancalà, Rita Catanzariti, Valeria Luciani, Steven M. Bohaty, Paul A. Wilson, Fabio Florindo, 2013. "Integrated magnetobiostratigraphy of the middle Eocene–lower Oligocene interval from the Monte Cagnero section, central Italy", Magnetic Methods and the Timing of Geological Processes, L. Jovane, E. Herrero-Bervera, L.A. Hinnov, B. Housen
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The Monte Cagnero sedimentary section, which crops out in the northeastern Apennines near Urbania in the Umbria–Marche Basin (Italy), contains well-exposed strata spanning the middle Eocene to lower Oligocene interval. We use an integrated magnetobiostratigraphic approach to generate a high-resolution age model for the Monte Cagnero section, with the goal of obtaining a reliable chronostratigraphic framework for studying Eocene–Oligocene palaeoceanographic changes during the switch from greenhouse to icehouse conditions. The studied sediments consist of alternating reddish and greenish limestones and marlstones. A new integrated age model for the section is based on high-resolution palaeomagnetic analyses, combined with detailed planktonic foraminiferal and calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphic results. Rock magnetic measurements show that the magnetic mineralogy is dominated by a mixture of high- and low-coercivity minerals, probably representing a combination of hematite and magnetite. A robust magnetostratigraphic signal, together with the identification of key planktonic foraminiferal and nannofossil biostratigraphic events, allows construction of a detailed age model for the section. Based on these results, we infer that the section spans a continuous interval (within magnetochron resolution) from the middle Eocene to lower Oligocene (c. 41–27 Ma; Chrons C18r–C12r). The Monte Cagnero section, therefore, represents a sequence that is suitable for studying the impact of the Neo-Tethyan gateway closure on subtropical Eocene circulation and determining the nature and timing of palaeoceanographic changes in the Tethys through the late middle Eocene to early Oligocene interval.
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Magnetostratigraphy is best known as a technique that employs correlation among different stratigraphic sections using the magnetic directions defining geomagnetic polarity reversals as marker horizons. The ages of the polarity reversals provide common tie points among the sections, allowing accurate time correlation. Recently, studies of magnetic methods and the timing of geological processes have acquired a broader meaning, now referring to many types of magnetic measurements within a stratigraphic sequence. Many of these measurements provide correlation and age control not only for the older and younger boundaries of a polarity interval, but also within intervals. Thus, magnetostratigraphy no longer represents a dating tool based only on geomagnetic polarity reversals, but comprises a set of techniques that includes measurements of geomagnetic field parameters, environmental magnetism, rock-magnetic properties, radiometric dating and astronomically forced palaeoclimatic change recorded in sedimentary rocks, and key corrections to magnetic directions related to geodynamics, palaeocurrents, tectonics and diagenetic processes.