The Pliocene Mediterranean infilling of the Messinian Erosional Surface: New biostratigraphic data based on calcareous nannofossils (Bajo Segura Basin, SE Spain)
Keywords:Pliocene, Messinian Erosional Surface, Messinian Salinity Crisis, Zanclean, Calcareous nannofossils
The Bajo Segura Basin (eastern Betic Cordillera) is a Mediterranean marginal basin where the Messinian Erosional Surface (MES), formed during the Messinian Salinity Crisis sea-level fall, is well developed. Overlying this major discontinuity the lower Pliocene transgressive sediments record the reflooding of the Mediterranean and the return to an open marine environment, the continental shelf being rebuilt after the Messinian erosion. The stratigraphic and biostratigraphic study of seven sections allow two transgressive-regressive sequences filling the MES to be distinguished, correlated with the previously distinguished Mediterranean offshore seismic units. Ten calcareous nannofossil bioevents have been identified. The lower sequence can be dated according to nannofossil biozones NN12 to NN14 and the upper sequence by NN15 to NN16. The boundary between both lower Pliocene sedimentary sequences is dated by the First Common Occurrence (FCO) of Discoaster asymmetricus in the uppermost sediment of the lower sequence and the First Occurrence (FO) of Discoaster tamalis in the lowermost part of the upper sequence. This discontinuity can be calibrated at between 4.1 and 4.0 Ma ago.
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