After a long period of controversial debate about the interpretation of the Messinian salinity crisis (MSC), a near consensus existed since the ODP Leg 42A for a model keeping the major lines of the deep basin-shallow water model initially proposed by Hsü et al. (1973). The knowledge of the crisis was improved since the 1995s by the availability of a very accurate astronomically calibrated timescale. The debate about its interpretation was then reactivated by several new scenarios that questioned most the major aspects of the previous classical models. The updated re-examination of the most salient features along with consideration of the hydrological requirements for evaporite deposition allow us to assess the viability of the new models. We propose an integrated scenario that revives the key points of the previous model with new statements about the chronology, depositional settings, hydrological mechanisms, consequences and correlations with the global changes. A model implying two main stages of evaporite deposition that affected successively the whole basin with a slight diachronism matches better the whole dataset. The distribution of the evaporites and their depositional timing were constrained by the high degree of paleogeographical differentiation and by the threshold effects that governed the water exchanges. It is assumed that the central Sicilian basin was a deep basin located in a marginal position with regard to the deepest central basins. The restriction of the Mediterranean was predominantly under a tectonic control, but the complex development of the evaporitic crisis implied the interplay of both glacio-eustatic changes and fluctuations of the circum-Mediterranean climate. The first evaporitic stage (lower evaporites) that includes the deposition of the thick homogeneous halite unit with K–Mg salt interbeds in the deepest basins is correlated with the major evaporative drawdown and higher aridity, and occurred during the glacial period recorded in the ocean sediments between 6.3 and 5.6Ma. The deposition of the potash in Sicily is tentatively linked to the two major glacial peaks TG 20 and TG 22, while the end of this first stage is linked to the peak TG 12. The second stage (upper evaporites) correlates with the interval of warming and global sea level rise recorded in the ocean since 5.6–5.5Ma onwards. During this second stage, freshwater contribution increased and culminated by the latest Messinian dilution, i.e. the Lago-Mare event, as the result of the worsened tectonically driven closure of the Atlantic gateways combined to an evolution towards wetter climate conditions at least on the mountainous peripheral areas. In fact, reduced inputs of seawater continued to enter at least episodically the basin through the MSC explaining the sporadic presence of marine organisms. These inputs reached their lowest value and practically ceased during the latest Messinian dilution, just before the abrupt restoration of stable open marine conditions at the beginning of the Zanclean. A polyphased erosional surface affected the Mediterranean margins during the MSC with several critical episodes. The major episode related to the greatest water level fall, more than 1000m, occurred during the deposition of the lower evaporites, from the onset of the evaporite deposition till the end of the first stage. Erosional processes remained active during the second evaporitic stage especially whenever the basin dried-up and a last important event marked by the karstification of the evaporites developed during the latest Messinian dilution just before the Early Zanclean reflooding that filled the erosional morphology

Rouchy, J.M., & Caruso, A. (2006). The Messinian Salinity Crisis in the Mediterranean basin: a reassessment of the data and an integrated scenario. SEDIMENTARY GEOLOGY, 188 (Special Issue), 35-67 [10.1016/j.sedgeo.2006.02.005].

The Messinian Salinity Crisis in the Mediterranean basin: a reassessment of the data and an integrated scenario

CARUSO, Antonio
2006

Abstract

After a long period of controversial debate about the interpretation of the Messinian salinity crisis (MSC), a near consensus existed since the ODP Leg 42A for a model keeping the major lines of the deep basin-shallow water model initially proposed by Hsü et al. (1973). The knowledge of the crisis was improved since the 1995s by the availability of a very accurate astronomically calibrated timescale. The debate about its interpretation was then reactivated by several new scenarios that questioned most the major aspects of the previous classical models. The updated re-examination of the most salient features along with consideration of the hydrological requirements for evaporite deposition allow us to assess the viability of the new models. We propose an integrated scenario that revives the key points of the previous model with new statements about the chronology, depositional settings, hydrological mechanisms, consequences and correlations with the global changes. A model implying two main stages of evaporite deposition that affected successively the whole basin with a slight diachronism matches better the whole dataset. The distribution of the evaporites and their depositional timing were constrained by the high degree of paleogeographical differentiation and by the threshold effects that governed the water exchanges. It is assumed that the central Sicilian basin was a deep basin located in a marginal position with regard to the deepest central basins. The restriction of the Mediterranean was predominantly under a tectonic control, but the complex development of the evaporitic crisis implied the interplay of both glacio-eustatic changes and fluctuations of the circum-Mediterranean climate. The first evaporitic stage (lower evaporites) that includes the deposition of the thick homogeneous halite unit with K–Mg salt interbeds in the deepest basins is correlated with the major evaporative drawdown and higher aridity, and occurred during the glacial period recorded in the ocean sediments between 6.3 and 5.6Ma. The deposition of the potash in Sicily is tentatively linked to the two major glacial peaks TG 20 and TG 22, while the end of this first stage is linked to the peak TG 12. The second stage (upper evaporites) correlates with the interval of warming and global sea level rise recorded in the ocean since 5.6–5.5Ma onwards. During this second stage, freshwater contribution increased and culminated by the latest Messinian dilution, i.e. the Lago-Mare event, as the result of the worsened tectonically driven closure of the Atlantic gateways combined to an evolution towards wetter climate conditions at least on the mountainous peripheral areas. In fact, reduced inputs of seawater continued to enter at least episodically the basin through the MSC explaining the sporadic presence of marine organisms. These inputs reached their lowest value and practically ceased during the latest Messinian dilution, just before the abrupt restoration of stable open marine conditions at the beginning of the Zanclean. A polyphased erosional surface affected the Mediterranean margins during the MSC with several critical episodes. The major episode related to the greatest water level fall, more than 1000m, occurred during the deposition of the lower evaporites, from the onset of the evaporite deposition till the end of the first stage. Erosional processes remained active during the second evaporitic stage especially whenever the basin dried-up and a last important event marked by the karstification of the evaporites developed during the latest Messinian dilution just before the Early Zanclean reflooding that filled the erosional morphology
Settore GEO/01 - Paleontologia E Paleoecologia
Settore GEO/02 - Geologia Stratigrafica E Sedimentologica
Rouchy, J.M., & Caruso, A. (2006). The Messinian Salinity Crisis in the Mediterranean basin: a reassessment of the data and an integrated scenario. SEDIMENTARY GEOLOGY, 188 (Special Issue), 35-67 [10.1016/j.sedgeo.2006.02.005].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/38394
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