A recent paper by Caruso et al. (2015) dealing with the Calcare di Base of Sicily and Calabria reintroduced an earlier idea that onset on the Messinian salinity crisis is diachronous. The paper provided a stratigraphic correlation of five sections together with the reference section of Falconara and Gibliscemi (Sicily) in order to establish the diachronous nature of restricted saline conditions. In our opinion their conclusions are not supported by the data, and the paper contains some stratigraphic errors that depend on a flawed presentation of the main stratigraphic concepts provided over the past few years covering the deposits of the Messinian salinity crisis in Sicily. In this discussion we challenge the stratigraphic conclusion of Caruso et al. (2015) holding that: a) they did not fully consider the different types of deposits included in the Calcare di Base unit and consequently did not recognize the large scale unconformity at the base of the brecciated limestone (Calcare di Base type 3); b) they did not provide univocal criteria for the definition of the onset of the Messinian salinity crisis; c) they hold the idea that the onset of the salinity crisis must be coincident with the onset of the evaporites, concept which is not necessarily true; d) they arbitrarily correlated different evaporitic deposits formed during different stages of the MSC; e) they provided a stratigraphic correlation of the study sections and their tuning with the insolation curve that lacks of reliable stratigraphic constraints. Consequently, they have presented an unreliable schematic evolution of the Caltanissetta basin.
Comment on “Carbonate deposition and diagenesis in evaporitic environments: The evaporative and sulphur-bearing limestones during the settlement of the Messinian Salinity Crisis in Sicily and Calabria” by Caruso et al., 2015. Palaeo3, 429, 136–162 / Manzi, Vinicio; Gennari, R.; Lugli, S.; Minelli, N; Reghizzi, Matteo; Roveri, Marco; Schreiber, B. C.. - In: PALAEOGEOGRAPHY PALAEOCLIMATOLOGY PALAEOECOLOGY. - ISSN 0031-0182. - 459(2016), pp. 585-596. [10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.01.037]
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