Abstract

The Alano section has been presented at the International Subcommission on Paleogene Stratigraphy (ISPS) as a potential candidate for defining the global boundary stratotype section and point (GSSP) of the late Eocene Priabonian Stage. The section is located in the Venetian Southern Alps of the Veneto region (NE Italy), which is the type area of the Priabonian, being exposed along the banks of the Calcino torrent, near the village of Alano di Piave. It consists of ∼120–130 m of bathyal gray marls interrupted in the lower part by an 8-m-thick package of laminated dark to black marlstones. Intercalated in the section, there are eight prominent marker beds, six of which are crystal tuff layers, whereas the other two are bioclastic rudites. These distinctive layers are useful for regional correlation and for an easy recognition of the various intervals of the section. The section is easily accessible, crops out continuously, is unaffected by any structural deformation, is rich in calcareous plankton, and contains an expanded record of the critical interval for defining the GSSP of the Priabonian. In order to further check the stratigraphic completeness of the section and constrain in time the critical interval for defining the Priabonian Stage, we performed a high-resolution study of integrated calcareous plankton biostratigraphy and a detailed magnetostratigraphic analysis. Here, we present the results of these studies to open a discussion on the criteria for driving the “golden spike” that should define the middle Eocene–late Eocene boundary.

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