The extensional Neogene Albegna Basin (Southern Tuscany, Italy) includes several thermogene travertine units dating from the Miocene to Holocene time. During the late Miocene (Messinian), a continental fault-controlled basin (of nearly 500-km2 width) was filled by precipitated travertine and detrital terrigenous strata, characterized by a wedge-shaped geometry that thinned northward, with a maximum thickness of nearly 70m. This mixed travertine-terrigenous succession was investigated in terms of lithofacies types, depositional environment and architecture and the variety of precipitated travertine fabrics. Deposited as beds with thickness ranging from centimetres to a few decimetres, carbonates include nine travertine facies types: F1) clotted peloidal micrite and microsparite boundstone, F2) raft rudstone/floatstone, F3) sub-rounded radial coated grain grainstone, F4) coated gas bubble boundstone, F5) crystalline dendrite cementstone, F6) laminated boundstone, F7) coated reed boundstone and rudstone, F8) peloidal skeletal grainstone and F9) calci-mudstone and microsparstone. Beds of terrigenous deposits with thickness varying from a decimetre to > 10 m include five lithofacies: F10) breccia, F11) conglomerate, F12) massive sandstone, F13) laminated sandstone and F14) claystone. The succession recorded the following three phases of evolution of the depositional setting: 1) At the base, a northward-thinning thermogene travertine terraced slope (Phase I, travertine slope lithofacies association, F1-F6) developed close to the extensional fault system, placed southward with respect to the travertine deposition. 2) In Phase II, the accumulation of travertines was interrupted by the deposition of colluvial fan deposits with a thickness of several metres (colluvial fan lithofacies association, F10 and F12), which consisted of massive breccias, adjacent to the alluvial plain lithofacies association (F11-F14) including massive claystone and sandstone and channelized conglomerates. Travertine lenses, of 2-3-m thickness, appeared intermittently alternating with the colluvial fan breccias. 3) In the third phase, the filled fault-controlled basin evolved into an alluvial plain with ponds rich in coated reed travertines, which record the influence of freshwater (travertine flat lithofacies association, F7-F9). This study shows the stratigraphic architecture and sedimentary evolution of a continental succession, wherein the hydrothermal activity and consequent travertine precipitation were driven by the extensional tectonic regime, with faults acting as fluid paths for the thermal water. Fault activity created the accommodation space for travertine and colluvial fan accumulation. Erosion of the uplifted footwall blocks provided the source of sediments for the colluvial fan breccias, which alternated with the thermogene travertine precipitation. Climatic oscillations might have led to the recharge of the aquifer that fed the hydrothermal vents. The studied continental succession in an extensional basin provides valuable information about the interplay between thermogene travertine and alluvial/colluvial deposition, which in turn might improve the understanding of similar fault-controlled continental depositional systems in outcrops and the subsurface.
Depositional architecture of a mixed travertine-terrigenous system in a fault-controlled continental extensional basin (Messinian, Southern Tuscany, Central Italy) / A. Croci, G. Della Porta, E. Capezzuoli. - In: SEDIMENTARY GEOLOGY. - ISSN 0037-0738. - 332(2016), pp. 13-39.
|Titolo:||Depositional architecture of a mixed travertine-terrigenous system in a fault-controlled continental extensional basin (Messinian, Southern Tuscany, Central Italy)|
CROCI, ANDREA (Primo)
DELLA PORTA, GIOVANNA (Secondo)
|Parole Chiave:||alluvial deposits; Central Italy; continental rift basin; messinian; thermogene travertines; geology; stratigraphy|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore GEO/02 - Geologia Stratigrafica e Sedimentologica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2015.11.007|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|