Tethyan magnetostratigraphy from Pizzo Mondello (Sicily) and correlation to the Late Triassic Newark astrochronological polarity time scale

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Geological Society of America Bulletin
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We present the magnetostratigraphy and stable isotope stratigraphy from an expanded (similar to430-m-thick) Upper Triassic marine limestone section at Pizzo Mondello, Sicily, and review published biostratigraphic information that can be used to define the location of the conodont Carnian-Norian and Norian-Rhaetian boundaries in this section. Pizzo Mondello offers good potential for magnetostratigraphic correlation of marine biostratigraphic and chemostratigraphic data with the continental Newark astrochronological polarity time scale (APTS) for development of an integrated Late Triassic time scale. The relatively stable average values of delta(18)O centered on 0parts per thousand are a strong indication that the Cherty Limestone at Pizzo Mondello suffered very little diagenetic overprinting. The conodont Carnian-Norian boundary is located 12.5 m above a positive shift of delta(13)C. A statistical approach was applied to evaluate various Pizzo Mondello to Newark magnetostratigraphic correlations. Two correlation options have the highest correlation coefficients. In option #1, the base of Pizzo Mondello correlates with the middle part of the Newark APTS, whereas in option #2, the base of Pizzo Mondello starts toward the early part of the Newark APTS. We prefer option #2 in which the Carnian-Norian boundary based on conodonts, as well as its closely associated positive delta(13)C shift, correspond to Newark magnetozone E7 at ca. 228-227 Ma (adopting Newark astrochronology), implying a long Norian with a duration of similar to20 m.y., and a Rhaetian of similar to6 m.y. duration. These ages are in fact not inconsistent with the few high-quality radiometric dates that are available for Late Triassic time scale calibration. Based on its good exposure, accessibility, stratigraphic thickness and continuity, and multiple chronostratigraphic correlation possibilities, we propose Pizzo Mondello as global stratigraphic section and point for the base of the Norian.


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Doi 10.1130/B25326.1