The events related to the Messinian salinity crisis are among the most deeply investigated of Earth's history. According to the current hypothesis of Neogene paleogeographic evolution, approximately 5.5 Ma ago, after evaporitic sedimentation and before the Mio-Pliocene boundary, the Mediterranean was characterized by the widespread development of non-marine environments inhabited by molluscs and ostracods of brackish affinity. The Messinian post-evaporitic deposits that testify such a dramatic environmental change are commonly referred to as 'Lago-mare' and have been reported from several outcrops and boreholes throughout the entire Mediterranean basin. The origin of 'Lago-mare' conditions is commonly interpreted as the result of the synergistic effect of both the humid climatic conditions and change of the drainage patterns at the Mediterranean scale, with the capture of Paratethyan brackish waters. A few recent studies, however, suggest that such a scenario probably represents an oversimplification of the original context, from both a paleogeographical and paleoenvironmental point of view. Unfortunately, the results of these studies have never been commonly accepted and the proposed evidences have been considered questionable. In this paper we describe the fish assemblages from the 'Lago-mare' deposits of two localities, Cava Serredi and Podere Torricella, located in the Neogene hinterland basins of Tuscany, central Italy. These assemblages consists of a mixture of marine euryhaline and stenohaline taxa suggesting that the depositional environments were characterized by permanently open connections with a marine basin filled with normal marine waters. In order to better define the paleontological significance of these upper Messinian fish assemblages, the oxygen, carbon and strontium isotopic composition of fish otoliths and other fossils has been measured. These isotopic compositions are strongly indicative of the presence of normal marine conditions close to the depositional environments testified by the sedimentary sequences, thereby implying that the interpretation of the geochemical results are consistent with those derived from the paleoecological analyses of the fish assemblages. Based on the integrated paleoichthyological-geochemical approach discussed in this paper it is possible to unambiguously demonstrate that normal marine rather than fresh- or brackish waters were present in the Mediterranean at least during the upper part of the 'Lago-mare' event, providing an unquestionable evidence that the marine refilling of the basin preceded the Mio-Pliocene boundary. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
|Autori:||CARNEVALE G; LONGINELLI A; CAPUTO D; BARBIERI M; LANDINI W|
|Titolo:||Did the Mediterranean marine reflooding precede the Mio-Pliocene boundary? Paleontological and geochemical evidence from upper Messinian sequences of Tuscany, Italy|
|Anno del prodotto:||2008|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|