The evolution of the Miocene San Marino carbonate shelf (Torriana outcrop), developed on the accretionary prism of the northern Apennines, has been interpreted through a stratigraphic and compositional study. Modal analysis allowed to quantify the framework components and to identify four microfacies through which the main steps of the carbonate ecosystem were traced. The healthy phase of the carbonate shelf, dominated by bryozoans and echinoids, originated in a high-energy transgressive setting and evolved during a warm period characterized by a progressive increase of nutrients. The transitional stage is marked by a reduction of carbonate productivity and by terrigenous intermittent pulses associated with bioclast fragmentation. The drowning succession corresponds to deepening upward facies formed by fine-grained hybrid arenites to sandy marls with abundant planktonic foraminifera, glauconitic grains and clay matrix. The demise of the carbonate shelf might have resulted from a combination of regional and global factors that interplayed controlling the detrital input, the nutrient budget and the deepening of the basin. Synsedimentary tectonics triggered subsidence of the basin and enhanced terrigenous discharge. Moreover, the superposition of paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic events (Monterey and Middle Miocene Climate Optimum) could have contributed with the intense weathering and remarkable detrital and nutrients supply.
Marine and Petroleum Geology – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2017
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