A revised stratigraphic framework for the Messinian succession of Cyprus is proposed demonstrating that the three-stage model for the Messinian salinity crisis recently established for the Western Mediterranean also applies to the Eastern Mediterranean, at least for its marginal basins. This analysis is based on a multidisciplinary study of the Messinian evaporites and associated deposits exposed in the Polemi, Pissouri, Maroni/Psematismenos and Mesaoria basins. Here, we document for the first time that the base of the unit usually referred to the ‘Lower Evaporites’ in Cyprus does not actually correspond to the onset of the Messinian salinity crisis. The basal surface of this unit rather corresponds to a regional-scale unconformity, locally associated with an angular discordance, and is related to the erosion and resedimentation of primary evaporites deposited during the first stage of the Messinian salinity crisis. This evidence suggests that the ‘Lower Evaporites’ of the southern basins of Cyprus actually belong to the second stage of the Messinian salinity crisis; they can be thus ascribed to the Resedimented Lower Gypsum unit that was deposited between 5.6 and 5.5 Ma and is possibly coeval to the halite deposited in the northern Mesaoria basin. Primary, in situ evaporites of the first stage of the Messinian salinity crisis were not preserved in Cyprus basins. Conversely, shallow-water primary evaporites deposited during the third stage of the Messinian salinity crisis are well preserved; these deposits can be regarded as the equivalent of the Upper Gypsum of Sicily. Our study documents that the Messinian stratigraphy shows many similarities between the Western and Eastern Mediterranean marginal basins, implying a common and likely coeval development of the Messinian salinity crisis. This could be reflected also in intermediate and deep-water basins; we infer that the Lower Evaporites seismic unit in the deep Eastern Mediterranean basins could well be mainly composed of clastic evaporites and that its base could correspond to the Messinian erosional surface.

The Messinian salinity crisis in Cyprus: a further step towards a new stratigraphic framework for Eastern Mediterranean / Manzi, Vinicio; Lugli, Stefano; Roveri, Marco; Dela Pierre, Francesco; Gennari, Rocco; Lozar, Francesca; Natalicchio, Marcello; Schreiber, B. Charlotte; Taviani, Marco; Turco, Elena. - In: BASIN RESEARCH. - ISSN 0950-091X. - 28:2(2016), pp. 207-236. [10.1111/bre.12107]

The Messinian salinity crisis in Cyprus: a further step towards a new stratigraphic framework for Eastern Mediterranean

MANZI, Vinicio;ROVERI, Marco;GENNARI, Rocco;TURCO, Elena
2016

Abstract

A revised stratigraphic framework for the Messinian succession of Cyprus is proposed demonstrating that the three-stage model for the Messinian salinity crisis recently established for the Western Mediterranean also applies to the Eastern Mediterranean, at least for its marginal basins. This analysis is based on a multidisciplinary study of the Messinian evaporites and associated deposits exposed in the Polemi, Pissouri, Maroni/Psematismenos and Mesaoria basins. Here, we document for the first time that the base of the unit usually referred to the ‘Lower Evaporites’ in Cyprus does not actually correspond to the onset of the Messinian salinity crisis. The basal surface of this unit rather corresponds to a regional-scale unconformity, locally associated with an angular discordance, and is related to the erosion and resedimentation of primary evaporites deposited during the first stage of the Messinian salinity crisis. This evidence suggests that the ‘Lower Evaporites’ of the southern basins of Cyprus actually belong to the second stage of the Messinian salinity crisis; they can be thus ascribed to the Resedimented Lower Gypsum unit that was deposited between 5.6 and 5.5 Ma and is possibly coeval to the halite deposited in the northern Mesaoria basin. Primary, in situ evaporites of the first stage of the Messinian salinity crisis were not preserved in Cyprus basins. Conversely, shallow-water primary evaporites deposited during the third stage of the Messinian salinity crisis are well preserved; these deposits can be regarded as the equivalent of the Upper Gypsum of Sicily. Our study documents that the Messinian stratigraphy shows many similarities between the Western and Eastern Mediterranean marginal basins, implying a common and likely coeval development of the Messinian salinity crisis. This could be reflected also in intermediate and deep-water basins; we infer that the Lower Evaporites seismic unit in the deep Eastern Mediterranean basins could well be mainly composed of clastic evaporites and that its base could correspond to the Messinian erosional surface.
The Messinian salinity crisis in Cyprus: a further step towards a new stratigraphic framework for Eastern Mediterranean / Manzi, Vinicio; Lugli, Stefano; Roveri, Marco; Dela Pierre, Francesco; Gennari, Rocco; Lozar, Francesca; Natalicchio, Marcello; Schreiber, B. Charlotte; Taviani, Marco; Turco, Elena. - In: BASIN RESEARCH. - ISSN 0950-091X. - 28:2(2016), pp. 207-236. [10.1111/bre.12107]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2784187
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