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Magnetostratigraphy of Pliocene sediments from the Stirone River (Po Valley)

Abstract : The Miocene-Pliocene and Pliocene-Pleistocene boundaries bracket a Pliocene section, approximately 800 m thick, along the Stirone river near Parma (Northern Italy). From the base to the top, the sequence consists mainly of blue clays (Zanclean in age), whitish laminates, silty clays and sandstones of Piacenzian age. A debris flow, which is the sedimentary expression of a hiatus, separates the Zanclean from the Piacenzian sediments. Thermomagnetic analysis, thermal evolution of magnetic susceptibility, acquisition and removal of anhysteretic and isothermal remanent magnetization (ARM and IRM) by alternating field and thermal methods, X-ray diffraction and scanning electron-microscopy (SEM) have been used in conjunction to try and unravel the complex magnetic mineralogy of the Stirone samples. Two major carriers of the magnetic remanence appear to be pseudo-single domain (PSD) magnetite and high-coercivity pyrrhotite in varying amounts and grain sizes. Five different magnetic indicators yield roughly consistent logs, with magnetite being important in the lower part of the section and pyrrhotite becoming dominant upsection. Six zones with more or less uniform properties have been outlined. Except in the lowermost zone where magnetite is also an important carrier, pyrrhotite in the 150-350°C range is taken to be the main carrier of the characteristic and, we believe, primary magnetization. The overall mean direction for about 200 samples is D = 0", I = 52" (ag5 = 3"), corresponding to a lack of local rotation about a vertical axis but implying some 10" of inclination shallowing. The magnetostratigraphy encompasses ten successive polarity zones. Correlation of magnetic and biostratigraphic results to the geomagnetic polarity time scale and to the biozonation of the Mediterranean area leads to the proposal that the Thvera subchron and part of the above reversed polarity zone are missing, as revealed by the absence of the Sphaeroidinellopsis seminulina s.1. Zone and by the occurence of Globorotalia margaritae from the very base of the section. The Sidufjall and Nunivak subchrons are recognized and the first occurrence of Globorotalia puncticulata occurs just above Nunivak subchron. The Cochiti subchron is observed next. A remarkable hiatus involves the upper part of the Gilbert chron up to the lower part of the Kaena subchron based on the record of the last occurrence of G. margaritae and G. puncticulata and the first occurence of G. aemiliana and G. bononiemis. Another hiatus involving the Reunion and Olduvai subchrons is suggested to occur in the upper part of the Pliocene sequence based on the absence of the G. inflata Zone and on the first occurrence of'Artica islandica, which marks the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary, towards the top of the section. The average sedimentation rate is estimated to be 450-500 m Ma-' for the early Pliocene and 200-300 m Ma-1 for the late Pliocene. Despite highly non-uniform sedimentation, both reflecting the episodic nature of coupled tectonic and sedimentary processes on 359 Downloaded from https
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C. Mary, S Iaccarino, V. Courtillot, J Besse ', D Aissaoui. Magnetostratigraphy of Pliocene sediments from the Stirone River (Po Valley). Geophysical Journal International, Oxford University Press (OUP), 1993, 112 (3), pp.359-380. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-246X.1993.tb01175.x⟩. ⟨insu-01863211⟩

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