Temperate carbonate platform drowning linked to Miocene oceanographic events: Maiella platform margin, Italy


Maria Mutti Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0740, USA.


Carbonate platform drownings are frequent, often synchronous global occurrences, yet explanations for these world-wide events remain unsatisfactory. In the Central Apennines, Lower and Middle Miocene carbonate rocks deposited on a ‘temperate’ ramp in the Maiella platform margin record two episodes of platform drowning followed by hemipelagic sedimentation, dated as latest Oligocene–Aquitanian (26–23 Ma) and as Burdigalian–Langhian (20–16 Ma). A high-resolution stratigraphy, based on strontium- isotopes, allows us to correlate key phases of platform evolution with events recorded in deep water ocean sediments. This paper suggests that high weathering rates and nutrient input in the Mediterranean during the early and middle Miocene –possibly linked to the uplift of the Tibetan region – set the preconditions for platform drowning, which were ultimately caused by rapid eustatic sea-level rises.