Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

The thick upper Pliocene to lower Pleistocene succession of hemipelagic mudstones of the Marche Apennines foredeep (central Italy) is punctuated by several mostly coarse-grained, cyclic turbidite systems. Integrated and detailed analyses of sedimentary facies, physical stratigraphy, biostratigraphy, and magnetostratigraphy have provided a high-resolution sequence stratigraphic framework for sediments of two of these coarse-grained systems, each resulting from the stack of five deepwater, high-frequency depositional sequences backfilling the mouth and lower reaches of a long-lived submarine canyon. The tight chronostratigraphic control available on these two turbidite systems and encasing hemipelagic sediments allows a precise correlation of the component high-frequency sequences with the Pliocene marine oxygen isotope curve. This reveals that the cyclic arrangement occurred near the Gauss–Matuyama polarity transition and the onset of the Olduvai subchron in response to recurring, obliquity-driven global changes in sea level. Each depositional sequence, 20 to 65 m thick, includes sediments that were deposited by a range of gravity-driven processes, resulting in sedimentary motifs that contain a deep marine record of both glacial and interglacial stages. A typical depositional sequence comprises: (1) a lowstand systems tract composed of cohesionless-debris-flow conglomerates (braided submarine channel complex), which passes down-dip into turbidite sandstones (frontal-splay complex); (2) an overlying transgressive to early falling-stage systems tract composed of a mud-rich masstransport complex of slumped horizons and cohesive-mud-flow pebbly mudstones eventually overlain by a thin interval of hemipelagic mudstones. This stacking pattern records variations in depositional style, and hence, variations in canyon activity during eustatic changes in sea level.

External Controls on Deep-Water Depositional Systems

SEPM Special Publication No. 92 (CD version), Copyright © 2009

SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), ISBN 978-1-56576-200-8, p. 247–259.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal