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High-resolution multiproxy cyclostratigraphic analysis of environmental and climatic events across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary in the classic pelagic succession of Gubbio (Italy)

By
Matthias Sinnesael
Matthias Sinnesael
Earth System Science, Analytical, Environmental and Geo-Chemistry (AMGC), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
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David De Vleeschouwer
David De Vleeschouwer
Earth System Science, Analytical, Environmental and Geo-Chemistry (AMGC-WE), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium, and MARUM (Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften der Universität Bremen), Universität Bremen, Leobener Strasse, D-28359, Bremen, Germany
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Rodolfo Coccioni
Rodolfo Coccioni
Dipartimento di Scienze Pure e Applicate, Università degli Studi di Urbino “Carlo Bo,” Campus Scientifico, Località Crocicchia, 61029 Urbino, Italy
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Philippe Claeys
Philippe Claeys
Earth System Science, Analytical, Environmental and Geo-Chemistry (AMGC-WE), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
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Fabrizio Frontalini
Fabrizio Frontalini
Dipartimento di Scienze Pure e Applicate, Università degli Studi di Urbino “Carlo Bo,” Campus Scientifico, Località Crocicchia, 61029 Urbino, Italy
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Luigi Jovane
Luigi Jovane
Instituto Oceanografico, Universidade de São Paulo, 05508–090 São Paulo, Brazil
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Jairo F. Savian
Jairo F. Savian
Departamento de Geologia, Instituto de Geociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Avenida Bento Gonçalves 9500, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, Brazil
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Alessandro Montanari
Alessandro Montanari
Osservatorio Geologico di Coldigioco, Contrada Coldigioco 4, 62021 Apiro, Italy
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Published:
July 01, 2016

We studied a high-resolution multiproxy data set, including magnetic susceptibility (MS), CaCO3 content, and stable isotopes (δ18O and δ13C), from the stratigraphic interval covering the uppermost Maastrichtian and the lower Danian, represented by the pelagic limestones of the Scaglia Rossa Formation continuously exposed in the classic sections of the Bottaccione Gorge and the Contessa Highway near Gubbio, Italy. Variations in all the proxy series are periodic and reflect astronomically forced climate changes (i.e., Milankovitch cycles). In particular, the MS proxy reflects variations in the terrigenous dust input in this pelagic, deep-marine environment. We speculate that the dust is mainly eolian in origin and that the availability and transport of dust are influenced by variations in the vegetation cover on the Maastrichtian-Paleocene African or Asian zone, which were respectively located at tropical to subtropical latitudes to the south or far to the east of the western Tethyan Umbria-Marche Basin, and were characterized by monsoonal circulation. The dynamics of monsoonal circulation are known to be strongly dependent on precession-driven and obliquity-driven changes in insolation. We propose that a threshold mechanism in the vegetation coverage may explain eccentricity-related periodicities in the terrigenous eolian dust input. Other mechanisms, both oceanic and terrestrial, that depend on the precession amplitude modulated by eccentricity, can be evoked together with the variation of dust influx in the western Tethys to explain the detected eccentricity periodicity in the δ13C record. Our interpretations of the δ18O and MS records suggest a warming event ~400 k.y. prior to the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary, and a period of climatic and environmental instability in the earliest Danian. Based on these multiproxy phase relationships, we propose an astronomical tuning for these sections; this leads us to an estimate of the timing and duration of several late Maastrichtian and Danian biostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic events.

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GSA Special Papers

The Stratigraphic Record of Gubbio: Integrated Stratigraphy of the Late Cretaceous–Paleogene Umbria-Marche Pelagic Basin

Marco Menichetti
Marco Menichetti
Dipartimento di Scienze Pure e Applicate, Universita` degli Studi di Urbino, 61029 Urbino (PU), Italy
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Rodolfo Coccioni
Rodolfo Coccioni
Dipartimento di Scienze Pure e Applicate, Universita` degli Studi di Urbino, 61029 Urbino (PU), Italy
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Alessandro Montanari
Alessandro Montanari
Osservatorio Geologico di Coldigioco, Cda. Coldigioco 4, 62021 Apiro (MC), Italy
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Geological Society of America
Volume
524
ISBN print:
9780813725246
Publication date:
July 01, 2016

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