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The Early Cretaceous represents a time interval in the greenhouse world that was characterized by dramatic changes in the paleogeography, paleoceanography, and paleoclimate of the Earth system. Furthermore, a striking, prominent feature of the geomagnetic polarity time scale is the ~34 m.y. period of the normal polarity field (Cretaceous Normal Polarity Superchron). Although marine anomalies and paleomagnetic data from deep-sea cores and land sections indicate that a reversed polarity (M0r) with a duration of ~0.4 m.y. occurred before the superchron, incomplete exposure, coupled with gaps in sampling due to the presence of marl layers, has limited the identification of M0r in a number of sections. An integrated multidisciplinary investigation of lower Cretaceous sediments at the base of the Poggio le Guaine (PLG) core (Northern Apennines, central Italy) was carried out to identify the Barremian-Aptian contact, which is defined by the M0r lower boundary. Rock magnetic measurements of the studied interval of the PLG core reveal magnetite as the main magnetic carrier. Paleomagnetic results indicate a short interval characterized by reverse polarity. This interval is in the uppermost part of the Hedbergella excelsa planktonic foraminiferal zone and in the upper part of the Chiastozygus litterarius (NC6) calcareous nannofossil zone. Stable carbon (δ13C) and oxygen (δ18O) isotopes indicate a chemostratigraphy of the PLG core with the signature of oceanic anoxic event 1a (OAE 1a). The lithological expression of OAE 1a is the organic-rich black shale unit known as the Selli Level. The comparison of our magnetostratigraphic, biostratigraphic, and chemostratigraphic records throughout the Barremian-Aptian boundary with those available from previously investigated oceanic and land-based sites allows recognition of the magnetochron M0r and OAE 1a at PLG for the first time.

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