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Late Pliocene to early Pleistocene stratal segments were measured and sampled along the coast at Le Castella, Italy, to determine their planktonic foraminiferal
biostratigraphy and geomagnetic polarity reversal patterns. The percentage distribution of warm- and cold-water planktonic species in the samples defines a warm late Pliocene (Plaisancian) Globorotalia inflata Zone, a cool Calabrian Stage (earliest Pleistocene), a warm Emilian Stage, and a cool Sicilian Stage. Occurrence of Sphaeroidinella dehiscens in late Pliocene suggests highest maximum temperature, and dominant left coiling Globigerina pachyderma in the Sicilian the lowest.
The paleomagnetic reversal pattern is partly obscured by covered and weathered intervals between the late Pliocene and Calabrian, and within the upper Emilian and Sicilian. The exposed late Pliocene and Calabrian strata show strong normal measured polarities, which suggest that the late Pliocene falls in the Gauss Epoch and that the exposed Calabrian falls either in the late Gauss Epoch or Olduvai event. Recommendations are made for the Committee on Mediterranean Neogene Stratigraphy to core the section continuously, to determine and define precisely the lithostratigraphic and biostratigraphic base of the Calabrian, and to record the complete paleomagnetic history in the type area of the Calabrian, earliest Pleistocene.
Plio-Pleistocene stages of the Mediterranean and Gulf of Mexico are correlated using planktonic foraminifers and climatic implications. The Nebraskan, Aftonian, and Kansan stages correlate with the Calabrian, Emilian, and Sicilian stages, respectively. Paleomagnetic correlations are not entirely clear at this time, except that late Pliocene strata of both regions seemingly fall within the Gauss Epoch.
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