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Fucino sedimentary succession: longest and continuous terrestrial archive in the Mediterranean area recording the last 5 million years of Earth history

Project Acronym: MEME | State: Workshop Held

During the last 5 million years (5 Myr, Pliocene-Holocene) the Earth climate system underwent a series of marked changes, including the (i) shifting from the Pliocene warm state to the Pleistocene cold state, (ii) the changing in frequency, magnitude and shape of the orbital-scale glacial-interglacial (the Early Middle Pleistocene Transition, 1.4-0.5 Ma) and (ii) the insurgence of an extreme and pervasive millennial-scale climate variability (last 800 kyr, at least).

While much data is available from marine records, relatively little is known about the impact of these major reorganization and changes of the climate system on the environmental and biodiversity dynamic in terrestrial realms. Long, continuous, high-resolved and chronologically well-constrained terrestrial records are in fact extremely rare. The Fucino Basin, central Italy, likely is unique in the Mediterranean having the potential of meeting all these uncommon requisites. It is the largest and probably only Central Apennine basin hosting a continuous and thick lacustrine succession from the early Pliocene to recent historical times. It is geographically ideally located to record the intense and continuous explosive activity from the peri-Tyrrhenian volcanic system since 4.2 Ma, at least.

The aim of our project is to gain insights into the mode and tempo of Plio-Quaternary geo-bio-environmental changes at different spatial and temporal scales, by extending the 40Ar/39Ar independent-dated Fucino lacustrine record back to 5 Ma. This project proposal share the same temporal target of the IOPD Expedition 397, site U1385 (Iberian margin), for which Fucino can provide fundamental, integrative chronological and paleoenvironmental information from the terrestrial realm.

Keywords: Italy, Pliocene, Quaternary, terrestrial record, lacustrine succession, tephra chronology, IODP


Project Details

Project Location

Project Timeline

Workshop Held

24 - 27 October 2023 in Gioia dei Marsi, Italy

Workshop Proposal Approved