Abstract

A detailed magnetostratigraphic investigation of the Pignola-Abriola section of Norian to Rhaetian age permits the identification of 22 magnetic polarity reversals grouped in 10 magnetozones. We correlate the magnetostratigraphy of the Pignola-Abriola section with the Newark astrochronological polarity time scale (APTS). In total, 19 correlation options were tested, and only one (option 7) yielded a statistically significant correlation that was consistent with the available information on the stratigraphic age of the Newark APTS. After some adjustments to minimize erratic variations in sediment accumulation rates, a final correlation (option 7.1) was used to generate an age model of sedimentation for the Pignola-Abriola section. The Pignola-Abriola section has been correlated with Rhaetian sections from the literature, notably the current global boundary stratotype section and point candidate for the base of the Rhaetian at Steinbergkogel, Austria, where the Norian-Rhaetian boundary is proposed to be placed at a stratigraphic level containing the first appearance datum (FAD) of conodont Misikella posthernsteini, traced on the Newark APTS to ca. 209–210 Ma. Issues regarding the taxonomy of M. posthernsteini, a species characterized by transitional forms with its ancestor Misikella hernsteini, lead us to propose the alternative option of placing the Norian-Rhaetian boundary at a prominent negative δ13Corg spike observed in the Pignola-Abriola section at meter 44.5, 50 cm below the level containing the FAD of M. posthernsteini sensu stricto and close to the base of radiolarian Proparvicingula moniliformis zone. This level has been magnetostratigraphically correlated to Newark magnetozone E20r.2r at ca. 205.7 Ma. Assuming an age of ca. 201.3 Ma for the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, the Rhaetian Stage would have a duration of ∼4.4 m.y.

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