Abstract

The study of palaeosols, coupled with the classical methods of process sedimentology, is increasingly becoming a powerful tool for palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. The intrinsic complementarity of these two methods, which record the effects of processes developing over different periods of time, allows to improve the detail of facies analysis. This type of approach has actually never been adopted for the Upper Valdarno Basin, which is one of the best-known continental Plio-Pleistocene basins of the Northern Apennines. The aim of this paper is to document the existence of pedogenized intervals within the Upper Valdarno basin fill and to describe and characterize them in terms of sedimentary and pedogenic processes. Thus we tested this approach on four stratigraphic intervals, selected within the whole succession because of their particular significance in the basin history. Deposits have been described and interpreted in terms of sedimentary facies and pedologic characteristics, with particular attention on the inferred relative temporal relationships between sedimentary and pedogenic processes. This led to several considerations about landscape stability and evolution, accommodation and sedimentation rates, which are not commonly possible with the analysis of single-event deposits.

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