Abstract

Integrated sedimentological and micropalaeontological analyses of Montesecco Clays cropping out along the Molise Apennines foothills allow to reconstruct the depositional setting and major palaeoenvironmental changes within the Molise Periadriatic Basin (Apenninic foredeep) during the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. Sedimentological and palaeocological data from four reference stratigraphic sections document an overall shallowing-upward tendency within Montesecco Clays, which is also confirmed by compositional data analysis of microfaunal assemblages. Lower Montesecco Clays (Ururi and Trigno sections) accumulated from the middle epibathyal/bathyal to lower circalittoral zone, while upper Montesecco Clays (Guglionesi and Colle Favaro-Petacciato sections) contain a microfauna indicative of an outer circalittoral to infralittoral environment. As documented by previous subsurface data, the palaeoecological analysis suggests increasing depths in the Molise Periadriatic Basin from NW to SE.

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