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Authors: Mourik, A. A.* 
Bijkerk, J. F.* 
Cascella, A.* 
Hüsing, S. K.* 
Hilgen, F. J.* 
Lourens, L. J.* 
Turco, E.* 
Title: Astronomical tuning of the La Vedova High Cliff section (Ancona, Italy)—Implications of the Middle Miocene Climate Transition for Mediterranean sapropel formation
Issue Date: 15-Aug-2010
Series/Report no.: 1-2 / 297 (2010)
DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.06.026
Keywords: Middle Miocene
astronomical tuning
environmental changes
orbital forcing
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.10. Stratigraphy 
04. Solid Earth::04.05. Geomagnetism::04.05.06. Paleomagnetism 
Abstract: Continuous marine successions covering the Middle Miocene Climate Transition (MMCT; ∼15–13.7 Ma) are scarce and the lack of a high-resolution magnetobiostratigraphic framework hampers the construction of astronomically tuned age models for this time interval. The La Vedova High Cliff section, exposed along the coast of the Cònero Riviera near Ancona (Italy), is one of the few Mediterranean sections covering the critical time interval of the MMCT. Starting from an initial magnetobiostratigraphic age model, a robust astronomical tuning was constructed for the interval between 14.2 and 13.5 Ma, using geochemical element data and time series analysis. A shift in δ18O of bulk sediment towards heavier values occurs between ∼13.92 and 13.78 Ma and could be related to the Mi3b oxygen isotope event, which reflects the rapid expansion of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in the middle Miocene. The onset of the CM6 carbon excursion is reflected in the bulk record by a rapid increase in δ13C at 13.86 Ma. Our results confirm the proposition that these events coincide with a 405-kyr minimum in eccentricity and a node in obliquity related to the ∼1.2 Myr cycle. From 13.8 Ma onwards, distinct quadruplet cycles containing sapropelitic sediments were deposited. This may suggest a causal connection between the main middle Miocene cooling step and the onset of sapropel formation in the Mediterranean.
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