The end of the Messinian Salinity Crisis in the western Mediterranean: Insights fromthe carbonate platforms of south-eastern Spain

Antonio Caruso, Raphaël Bourillot, Jean-Marie Rouchy, Marie-Madeleine Blanc-Valleron, Christophe Durlet, Emmanuelle Vennin

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36 Citazioni (Scopus)


How the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) ended is still a matter of intense debate. The Terminal CarbonateComplex (TCC) is a late Messinian carbonate platform system that recorded western Mediterraneanhydrological changes from the final stages of evaporite deposition till the advent of Lago-Mare fresh- tobrackish water conditions at the very end of Messinian times. A multidisciplinary study has been carried outin three localities in south-eastern Spain to reconstruct the history of TCC platforms and elucidate theirsignificance in the MSC. Overall, this study provides evidence that the TCC formed following a regional 4thorder water level rise and fall concomitant with an opening-restriction trend. It can be subdivided into four5th order depositional sequences (DS1 to DS4) recording two phases: (1) from DS1 to DS3, a tide-dominatedooidic to oobioclastic system with stenohaline faunas developed as a result of a 70 m water level rise. Duringthis period, the TCC developed in a shallow sea with close to normal marine salinity; (2) in depositionalsequence 4, a microbialite-dominated platform system developed. This is indicative of a significantenvironmental change and is attributed to a 30 to 40 m water level fall in the basins under study. Theserestricted conditions were coeval with intense evaporite deformation and brine recycling. The synsedimentarydeformation of evaporites had a major impact on platform architecture and carbonateproduction, affecting the Messinian series throughout south-eastern Spain at the end of the TCC history. Atthat time, the TCC developed in a lake with fluctuating, brackish- to hypersaline water. These findingssuggest a temporary restoration of marine conditions in the western Mediterranean marginal basins due toAtlantic water influxes prompted by a global sea level rise around 5.6 Ma. Whether marine conditionsextended to the entire western Mediterranean still needs to be investigated.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)224-253
Numero di pagine30
RivistaSedimentary Geology
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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