Abstract

Paleoenvironmental and paleoclimate changes that occurred during the late postevaporitic stage of the Mediterranean Basin in the Messinian foreland domain of the Adriatic region offer a new perspective on the relationship between orbital forcing and climate response. The magnetic susceptibility record of the Fonte dei Pulcini A section (Maiella Mountains, Italy) allows us to orbitally tune the record between 5.394 and 5.336 Ma and to temporally constrain the paleoenvironmental and paleoclimate changes evidenced by quantitative paleontological (palynomorphs, ostracods, and calcareous nannofossils), stable isotope (δ18O and δ13C), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses. The base of the Fonte dei Pulcini A section is characterized by Paratethyan ostracods and dinocysts, which point to the late Messinian Lago-Mare biofacies (Loxocorniculina djafarovi zone) of the Mediterranean Messinian stratigraphy. From paleontological and geochemical (δ18O) analyses, there is no evidence of a marine incursion in the Fonte dei Pulcini A section. The major changes in terms of paleodepth, paleosalinity, evaporation versus precipitation, aridity versus humidity, and reworking processes occurred in the upper part of the Fonte dei Pulcini A section, during the last Messinian insolation cycle (i-cycle 511/512), which is characterized by high-amplitude oscillations. In contrast, the lower part of the Fonte dei Pulcini A section, which was deposited during relatively low-amplitude insolation cycles, is characterized by more stable environmental conditions. Comparing summer insolation with the paleoenvironmental changes at the Fonte dei Pulcini A section, we identify delays of several thousands of years between orbital forcing and climate response.

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