Astronomical forcing of sedimentary cycles in the middle to late Miocene continental Calatayud Basin (NE Spain)



Downloads per month over past year

Aziz, Hayfaa Abdul and Hilgen, Frederik J. and Krijgsman, Wout and Sanz Montero, M. Esther and Calvo Sorando, José Pedro (2000) Astronomical forcing of sedimentary cycles in the middle to late Miocene continental Calatayud Basin (NE Spain). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 177 . pp. 9-22. ISSN 0012-821X

[thumbnail of 000352-main.pdf]
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL:


A high-resolution cyclostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic study was carried out on cyclically bedded successions of middle Miocene lacustrine to distal alluvial fan-floodplain deposits from the Calatayud basin, in northeast Spain. Eight (partially overlapping) subsections near the village of Orera are correlated in detail using distinct sedimentary cycle patterns or by following marker beds in the field. Together they form the Orera Composite Section (OCS). Sedimentary cycles are recognised on at least two different scales. The basic small-scale cycles in the OCS consist of an alternation of grey and, occasionally, red clays with white, dolomite-rich, carbonate beds. They are arranged in largerscaled, so-called large-scale cycles based on repetitive changes in the overall carbonate-clay lithology. Two other, but less distinct, types of intermediate scale cyclicity are also recognised. In terms of depositional environment, the cycle hierarchy is interpreted to represent periodic lake expansion over the palaeo-alluvial fan-floodplain area. The palaeomagnetic results yield a reliable magnetostratigraphic record, which confirms the cyclostratigraphic correlations between the subsections in detail. Rock magnetic experiments reveal that haematite is the main magnetic carrier of the primary component. The magnetostratigraphy of the OCS is correlated straightforwardly with the geomagnetic polarity time scale. This resulted in an age of 10.7^12.8 Ma for the entire succession, which is supported by fossil micromammal findings. In addition, it also reveals the presence of two, possibly three, short new polarity intervals. Based on the number of cycles in the OCS the average periodicity of the basic small-scale cycles is approximately 23 000 yr, while the large-scale cycle indicates a periodicity of 400 000 yr. This suggests that these sedimentary cycles are controlled by astronomically induced climate changes causing lake-level fluctuations and thus resulting in the deposition of carbonate-clay cycles. The continental sequences of the OCS provide a unique opportunity to extend the astronomical polarity time scale into the middle Miocene. The overlap of such continental sequences in the Mediterranean area with time-equivalent astronomically induced marine sequences is fundamental for establishing marine^continental, bed-tobed, correlations and for understanding regional climate change.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Terrestrial sedimentation; Miocene; Cyclic processes; Magnetostratigraphy; Climate change
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Geodynamics
ID Code:58909
Deposited On:12 Feb 2020 12:30
Last Modified:12 Feb 2020 12:30

Origin of downloads

Repository Staff Only: item control page