7. Facies and Sequence Architecture of a Tropical Foramol-Rhodalgal Carbonate Ramp: Miocene of the Central Apennines (Italy)

  1. Maria Mutti3,
  2. Werner Piller4 and
  3. Christian Betzler5
  1. Marco Brandano1,2,
  2. Laura Corda1 and
  3. Francesca Castorina1,2

Published Online: 3 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118398364.ch7

Carbonate Systems during the Oligocene-Miocene Climatic Transition

Carbonate Systems during the Oligocene-Miocene Climatic Transition

How to Cite

Brandano, M., Corda, L. and Castorina, F. (2012) Facies and Sequence Architecture of a Tropical Foramol-Rhodalgal Carbonate Ramp: 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.ch7

Editor Information

  1. 3

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

  2. 4

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

  3. 5

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

Author Information

  1. 1

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

  2. 2

    Istituto di Geologia Ambientale e Geoingegneria-CNR, Sezione “La Sapienza”, Roma, 00185, Italy

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 Jarvis6,7

Series Editor Information

  1. 6

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

  2. 7

    Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE, UK

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444337914

Online ISBN: 9781118398364



  • Tropical carbonate ramp;
  • Miocene;
  • sequence stratigraphy;
  • Mediterranean


Integrated data from sedimentological and microfacies analyses have been used to reconstruct the stratigraphic and architectural evolution of a carbonate ramp exposed in the central Apennines. The platform was a wide homoclinal ramp characterized by rhodalgal, bryomol and foramol skeletal-grain associations that developed under tropical-subtropical conditions. Based on facies distribution and palaeoecology, the rampcanbe subdividedinto: (1) aninner zonewhosemain components include balanids, molluscs and branching red algae; (2) a middle zone characterized by rhodoliths and larger foraminifera; and (3) an outer ramp consisting of: (a) a proximal zone dominated by bryozoan colonies, bivalves and echinoids: (b) an intermediate zone where the main components are benthic and planktonic foraminifera, worm tubes, fragmented echinoids and bivalves; and (c) a distal zone where marls and calcarenites contain silica-sponge spicules, planktonic foraminifera and mollusc-bryozoan-echinoid debris.

Strontium-isotope dating has been essential in generating a detailed chronostratigraphy. The reconstructed architecture reflects two second-order depositional sequences. The lower sequence (uppermost Aquitanian to Serravallian) is composed of a lowstand systems tract, a well-developed transgressive systems tract and a thin highstand systems tract. The architectural pattern of the lower sequence first shows aggradation, followed by retrogradation and finally a pronounced contemporaneous progradation. Changes in trophic resources and tectonic phases have been interpreted as the main factors controlling the sequence architecture. The upper sequence, starting in the Serravallian, was strongly controlled by tectonic subsidence and its diachronous termination was a consequence of the downflexure of the foreland related to the eastward migration of the Apennine foredeep system.