From the Guajira Desert to the Apennines, and from Mediterranean Microplates to the Mexican Killer Asteroid: Honoring the Career of Walter Alvarez
CONTAINS OPEN ACCESS
This volume pays tribute to the great career and extensive and varied scientific accomplishments of Walter Alvarez, on the occasion of his 80th birthday in 2020, with a series of papers related to the many topics he covered in the past 60 years: Tectonics of microplates, structural geology, paleomagnetics, Apennine sedimentary sequences, geoarchaeology and Roman volcanics, Big History, and most famously the discovery of evidence for a large asteroidal impact event at the Cretaceous–Tertiary (now Cretaceous–Paleogene) boundary site in Gubbio, Italy, 40 years ago, which started a debate about the connection between meteorite impact and mass extinction. The manuscripts in this special volume were written by many of Walter’s close collaborators and friends, who have worked with him over the years and participated in many projects he carried out. The papers highlight specific aspects of the research and/or provide a summary of the current advances in the field.
Sedimentological and archaeological evidence for a Late Antique Little Ice Age climate event (536–660 CE) as recorded in a fluvial strath terrace of the Esino River (Marche region, Italy)
Published:June 21, 2022
Alessandro Montanari, Maurizio Mainiero, Piero Farabollini, Gaia Pignocchi, 2022. "Sedimentological and archaeological evidence for a Late Antique Little Ice Age climate event (536–660 CE) as recorded in a fluvial strath terrace of the Esino River (Marche region, Italy)", From the Guajira Desert to the Apennines, and from Mediterranean Microplates to the Mexican Killer Asteroid: Honoring the Career of Walter Alvarez, Christian Koeberl, Philippe Claeys, Alessandro Montanari
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Stratigraphic analysis of two sections of a fluvial strath terrace exposed on the left bank of the Esino River near the village of Trocchetti (province of Ancona, Marche region of central Italy), and the study of a large landslide located near the village of San Cristoforo, a few kilometers down valley from the Trocchetti fluvial terrace, provide evidence for two catastrophic environmental events, namely: (1) the aggradation on the riverbed of coarse, chaotic gravel due to a violent flashflood; and (2) the formation of a large ephemeral lake as the consequence of the landslide that barred the river channel at San Cristoforo. Archaeological and historical information about the lost Roman city of Tuficum, which was located just a kilometer upriver from the Trocchetti terrace, and ceramic artifacts found in the chaotic gravel unit, led us to the hypothesis that both the flashflood and the landslide were induced by the sudden, severe climate change of the Late Antique Little Ice Age (mid-sixth century to mid-seventh century CE).