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Abstract

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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