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Keywords:

  • 40Ar/39Ar dating;
  • central Italy;
  • Sr isotope composition;
  • Sulmona lacustrine succession;
  • Brunhes–Matuyama geomagnetic reversal;
  • tephrostratigraphy;
  • U-series dating

ABSTRACT

We present new stratigraphic, palaeomagnetic, 87Sr/86Sr and 40Ar/39Ar data from a lacustrine succession of the Sulmona basin, central Italy, which, according to an early study, included six unconformity-bounded lacustrine units (from SUL6, oldest, to SUL1, youngest) spanning the interval >600 to 2 ka. The results of the present study, on the one hand confirm some of the previous conclusions, but by contrast reveal that units SUL2 and SUL1, previously attributed to the Holocene, are actually equivalent to the older SUL6 and SUL5 units – here dated to ∼814–>530 ka and ∼530–<457 ka, respectively – and that the U-series dates previously published for both former SUL2 and SUL1 units yielded abnormally young ages. In light of the present results, a reassessment of the chronology of the Sulmona basin succession and a revision of the tephrostratigraphy of the SUL2/SUL6 and SUL1/SUL5 units is in order. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.