Pedley, Mario Grasso, Rosanna Maniscalco, Boris Behncke,
Agata Di Stefano, Sebastiano Giuffrida, Giovanni Sturiale (2000)
The sedimentology and palaeoenvironment of Quaternary
and their distribution around the northern Hyblean Mountains (SE Sicily)
Bollettino della Società Geologica Italiana,
volume 121, pages 233-255
The Pleistocene sedimentary
succession around the north Hyblean Mountain margin is dominated by
three carbonate units, which are the subjects of this study. These "temperate"
bioclastic carbonates developed around the shelf margin of a graben-generated
embayment (Lentini Graben) and volcanic sea-mount topography facing
the Catania Plain. Although showing considerable thickness variations
within the study area all units are part of a widespread regional development.
The lowest unit (principally Santernian) is primarily developed between
Scordia and the Catania Plain. The middle unit (Emilian) is most widespread
and extends at least from the Caltagirone area in the west to the Agnone
area in the east. Finally, the youngest lithified carbonate unit (Middle
Pleistocene in age) is developed throughout the NE region from Scordia
to Villasmundo. In deeper marginal areas the carbonates pass into detrital,
deep water pelagic marls which appear to have been deposited continuously
throughout the early Pleistocene. The region was selected for study
because of the high rates of post-depositional uplift which have raised
the sediments into upland areas, now readily accessible along deep valleys.
Cases are presented to demonstrate that: a) the carbonate units
have significant regional distributions; b) each unit is tightly
constrained in time; c) the overriding sedimentological controls
on carbonate production were climatic, with primary carbonate production
being confined to warmer, highstand parts of glacially controlled eustatic
cycles. Bioclastic carbonates of similar ages have widespread developments
throughout other regions of the Mediterranean. This is the first attempt
to accurately document their sedimentological characteristics and tie
down their distributions in space and time within a well exposed region.
The climatically driven eustatic component controls the timing of carbonate
production and makes these successions critical to the correlation of
marine and terrestrial Quaternary faunas throughout the Mediterranean.
For these reasons each unit is precisely characterized to enable clear
comparison with strata beyond the region.
Keywords: SE Sicily, temperate carbonates,
highstand, Emilian, Mediterranean.