Astrochronology of the Mediterranean Langhian between 15.29 and 14.17 Ma

S. K. Hüsing*, A. Cascella, Frederik J. Hilgen, W. Krijgsman, K. F. Kuiper, E. Turco, D. Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    An integrated high-resolution magnetobiocyclostratigraphy including radioisotopic dating and astronomical tuning is presented for the interval between 15.29 and 14.17 Ma in the marine La Vedova section in northern Italy. The natural remanent magnetization is carried by the iron sulphide greigite and the resultant magnetostratigraphy can be correlated straightforwardly to the interval ranging from C5Bn.2n to C5ADn in the Astronomically Tuned Neogene Time Scale (ATNTS2004). Spectral analysis on high-resolution magnetic susceptibility and geochemical proxy records in the depth domain and, using our magnetobiostratigraphic age model, in the time domain demonstrate that the various scales of cyclicity in the section are related to astronomical climate forcing. Starting from our initial age model, larger-scale cycles were first tuned to eccentricity. This first-order tuning was followed by tuning the basic cycle to precession and boreal summer insolation using inferred phase relations between maxima in Ca/Al, redox-sensitive elements and Ba, and minima in magnetic susceptibility, and maxima in precession and minima in obliquity and boreal summer insolation. Our astronomical ages for reversal boundaries are supported by analysis of sea floor spreading rates and should replace the existing ages in the ATNTS2004 lacking direct astronomical control. Two major steps in the geochemical proxy records, astronomically dated at 15.074 and 14.489 Ma, coincide with abrupt changes in sedimentation rate, and are the result of the combined effect of the ∼ 400-kyr eccentricity cycle superimposed upon a longer-term climatic or tectonic induced trend.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)254-269
    Number of pages16
    JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2010


    • astronomical tuning
    • biostratigraphy
    • environmental changes
    • Langhian
    • Mediterranean
    • Middle Miocene
    • orbital forcing
    • palaeomagnetism


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