The Middle-Upper Pleistocene Fronte Section (Taranto, Italy): An exceptionally preserved marine record of the Last Interglacial

Alessandro Amorosi, Fabrizio Antonioli, Adele Bertini, Stefano Marabini, Giuseppe Mastronuzzi, Paolo Montagna, Alessandra Negri, Veronica Rossi, Daniele Scarponi, Marco Taviani, Lorenzo Angeletti, Andrea Piva, Gian Battista Vai

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The Fronte Section, a well-exposed stratigraphic succession from southern Italy (Taranto area), provides an uninterrupted marine sedimentary record of MIS 5e. At this location, a highly expanded (8.5. m thick) stratigraphic succession, unconformably overlying Middle Pleistocene marine clay deposits, provides evidence for sea-level fluctuations during the Last Interglacial. An integrated study of Fronte Section, including facies analysis, detailed macrofaunal and meiofaunal characterization, and sequence stratigraphy, is presented. The occurrence of Persististrombus latus (=S. trombus bubonius) and other warm-water indicators (". Senegalaise" - "Senegalian" - guests of Gignoux, 1913), together with the presence of the dinocyst Polysphaeridium zoharyi and ten U-series dates on Cladocora caespitosa samples, permit an unequivocal MIS 5e age assignment to the upper part of the study succession. Above a stratigraphic unconformity marked by the boring coastal-lagoonal bivalve Pholas dactylus, the MIS 5e succession displays a first transgressive suite of brackish to shallow-marine deposits. These latter include highly fossiliferous muds rich in C. caespitosa, overlain by a fossil-rich calcarenite, 2. m-thick, yielding warm-water "Senegalian" mollusks. Above this prominent stratigraphic marker (regionally called panchina), which is interpreted to represent a short-lived phase of sea-level stillstand or gentle fall during MIS 5e, renewed transgression took place, leading to the accumulation of middle-outer shelf muds, about 5. m thick. The maximum flooding zone is clearly identified on the basis of the turnaround from a deepening-up to a shallowing-up trend. The upper part of Fronte Section records a second fossil-rich, sublittoral calcarenite containing warm-water mollusks, which is interpreted to reflect the subsequent phase of sea-level highstand, likely correlative with the MIS 5e plateau. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23 - 38
Number of pages16
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Oceanography

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