6. The Sensitivity of a Tropical Foramol-Rhodalgal Carbonate Ramp to Relative Sea-Level Change: Miocene of the Central Apennines, Italy

  1. Maria Mutti4,
  2. Werner Piller5 and
  3. Christian Betzler6
  1. Marco Brandano1,
  2. Hildegard Westphal2 and
  3. Guillem Mateu-Vicens3

Published Online: 3 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118398364.ch6

Carbonate Systems during the Oligocene-Miocene Climatic Transition

Carbonate Systems during the Oligocene-Miocene Climatic Transition

How to Cite

Brandano, M., Westphal, H. and Mateu-Vicens, G. (2012) The Sensitivity of a Tropical Foramol-Rhodalgal Carbonate Ramp to Relative Sea-Level Change: Miocene of the Central Apennines, Italy, in Carbonate Systems during the Oligocene-Miocene Climatic Transition (eds M. Mutti, W. Piller and C. Betzler), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118398364.ch6

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften Universität Potsdam, Postfach 60 15 53 D-14415 Potsdam, Germany

  2. 5

    Institute for Earth Sciences (Geology & Paleontology) University of Graz, Heinrichstrasse 26, A-8010 Graz, Austria

  3. 6

    Geologisch-Palaeontologisches Institut, Bundesstr. 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany

Author Information

  1. 1

    Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Roma “La Sapienza”, Ple Aldo Moro, 5. I-00185 Roma, Italy

  2. 2

    Department of Geosciences, Bremen University, Loebener Straße, D-28359 Bremen, Germany

  3. 3

    Departament de Ciències de la Terra, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Ctra. De Valldemossa, Km 7.5 E-07071 Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 APR 2012
  2. Published Print: 5 APR 2012

Book Series:

  1. Special Publication Number 42 of the International Association of Sedimentologists

Book Series Editors:

  1. Ian Jarvis7,8

Series Editor Information

  1. 7

    School of Geography, Geology and the Environment Centre for Earth and Environmental Science Research, Kingston University London, UK

  2. 8

    Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE, UK

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444337914

Online ISBN: 9781118398364



  • carbonate ramp;
  • sequence stratigraphy;
  • Miocene;
  • foramol carbonates;
  • sea-level change


Over the past 15 years it has been demonstrated that carbonate ramps react in a distinctly different way to sea-level fluctuations than flat-topped carbonate platforms. Until now, most sequence stratigraphic studies of carbonate ramps have concentrated on temperate to cool-water carbonates and on tropical systems after a phase of forced regression. This study aims at characterizing a tropical, eutrophic carbonate ramp, the Miocene Latium-Abruzzi platform in the central Apennines. The stratigraphic architecture of the carbonate ramp deposited duringa 5 Myrperiod reflects two 2nd-order relative sea-level cycles. In contrast, the architectural and facies patterns only reflect 3rd-order sea-level fluctuations inthe innerramp. Sea-level fluctuations that cause changes in light-penetration may produce shifts from euphotic to oligophotic or even aphotic conditions that may be recorded as facies changes. The insensitivity of middle- to outer-ramp facies belts is the result of the carbonate-producing organisms in these parts of the ramp, and of the low production of carbonate sediments on the inner ramp, limiting the export to middle- and outer-ramp settings. On this type of carbonate ramp, most voluminous carbonate sediment production takes place in the oligophotic zone by rhodalgal associations, or in the aphotic zone by bryomol or molechfor associations. Thus, carbonate sediment accumulates below the hydrodynamic base level in a water-depth interval thatmaybe wider than the amplitude of the high-frequency sea-level fluctuation. Such ramps therefore appear not to record high-frequency sea-level fluctuations.