Facies analysis in the Second Cycle Messinian evaporites predating the early Pliocene reflooding: the Balza Soletta section (Corvillo Basin, central Sicily)

Rosanna Maniscalco (1), Claudio Ivan Casciano (1), Salvatore Distefano (1), Francesco Grossi (2) & Agata Di Stefano (1)
(1) Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali - Sezione di Scienze della Terra, Università di Catania, C.so Italia 57, 95129 Catania, Italy. (2) Department of Science, University Roma Tre, L.go S. Leonardo Murialdo 1, 00146 Rome, Italy. Corresponding author e-mail: claudio.casciano@unict.it


DOI: https://doi.org/10.3301/IJG.2019.06

Abstract

The thick evaporitic deposits cropping out widely in central Sicily are subdivided into First and Second Cycle Evaporites, separated by a regional unconformity, and are spectacularly exposed in the Balza Soletta section of the Corvillo Basin, one of the main depocenters of the Caltanissetta Basin. Here, the evaporitic succession mainly consists of Second Cycle fan-delta conglomerates and gypsarenites, onlapping the First Cycle Evaporite units. A detailed sedimentological analysis of the whole succession, coupled with the study of the microfossil content (foraminifers, calcareous nannofossils and ostracods) of selected samples representative of the different facies, indicates that the deltaic deposits of the Second Cycle record a continuous overall finingand deepening-upward trend with a waning clastic input, likely registering a gradual reflooding. The microfossil associations (mainly ostracods and benthic foraminifers) agree with the existing data on the microfauna populating the upper Messinian ?Lago-Mare? in Sicily before the early Pliocene reflooding, supporting the sedimentological interpretation and the hydrodynamic connection with the Paratethys.

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