The study site is located in the north-western part of the Caudina valley , a wide intramontane basin located within the axial portion of Southern Apennines (Italy).The intramontane depressions of Southern Apennines show strongly variable sizes, infilling facies(lacustrine/alluvial), drainage conditions (exorheic/endorheic), structural setting (mainly half grabens or fault dammed), degree of dissection and age of formation/infilling. The formation of theoldest basins took place from the Late Pliocene, although most of them were formed during theQuaternary .The Caudina valley basin , located at the foot of the southern structural slope of the Taburno Massif, originated along a NW-SE trending fault. The lozenge-shaped basin (50 km2) is bordered, to the north and south, by limestone mountains. The eastern flank of the depression is instead characterised by a belt of low hills where terrigenous flysch deposits crop out. The subsurface data suggest that the thickness of the filling succession ranges from 50 to 100 metres in relation to the bedrock morphology, prevailingly made up of clay and sandstones,Miocene in ageIn 1995, during the excavations carried on by the ENI society at Saticula, near Sant'Agata de' Goti town (Benevento, Southern Italy), located in the western part of the basin a fluvio-lacustrine succession was discovered for the first time, buried below a thick volcaniclastic deposit sealed by the “Ignimbrite Campana” formation (39 ka). During the excavations, fossil bones were recovered and collected together with sediment samples for pollen analysis that allowed the recognition of two pollen zones; the first zone is characterised by a Quercus-Carya mixed deciduous forest which was probably present in the plain and on the slopes surrounding the Caudina valley basin. The following samples record a drastic decrease in Carya pollen grains and the contemporary increase in herbs and Pinus. A more open environment established around the river shores due to a climate shift towards dryer conditions. Most of the vertebrate remains were found in the upper portion of the succession corresponding to the zone with reduced Carya pollen. The fossil mammal assemblage includes mainly large mammals such as Elephantidae indet., Hippopotamus antiquus, Axis eurygonos, Praemegaceros sp., Equus suessenbornensis and Stephanorhinus cf. S. hundsheimensis. In addition, two hyena coprolites and fragments of rodent teeth were collected. The high amount of Carya at the base of the succession represents the most peculiar feature of the Saticula floral record and was used as a reference for its chronological constrain. In fact, comparison with other Italian pollen successions allowed the Saticula record to be tentatively ascribed to the late Early Pleistocene. After that period, Carya was never recorded in so high amounts and gradually disappeared from the Italian flora following a heterochronous latitudinal gradient. The Saticula mammal assemblage is in agreement with the chronological framework suggested by pollen data.

The late Early Pleistocene succession of Saticula (Sant'Agata dei Goti, Benevento, Southern Italy

RUSSO ERMOLLI, ELDA;SANTANGELO, NICOLETTA;
2009

Abstract

The study site is located in the north-western part of the Caudina valley , a wide intramontane basin located within the axial portion of Southern Apennines (Italy).The intramontane depressions of Southern Apennines show strongly variable sizes, infilling facies(lacustrine/alluvial), drainage conditions (exorheic/endorheic), structural setting (mainly half grabens or fault dammed), degree of dissection and age of formation/infilling. The formation of theoldest basins took place from the Late Pliocene, although most of them were formed during theQuaternary .The Caudina valley basin , located at the foot of the southern structural slope of the Taburno Massif, originated along a NW-SE trending fault. The lozenge-shaped basin (50 km2) is bordered, to the north and south, by limestone mountains. The eastern flank of the depression is instead characterised by a belt of low hills where terrigenous flysch deposits crop out. The subsurface data suggest that the thickness of the filling succession ranges from 50 to 100 metres in relation to the bedrock morphology, prevailingly made up of clay and sandstones,Miocene in ageIn 1995, during the excavations carried on by the ENI society at Saticula, near Sant'Agata de' Goti town (Benevento, Southern Italy), located in the western part of the basin a fluvio-lacustrine succession was discovered for the first time, buried below a thick volcaniclastic deposit sealed by the “Ignimbrite Campana” formation (39 ka). During the excavations, fossil bones were recovered and collected together with sediment samples for pollen analysis that allowed the recognition of two pollen zones; the first zone is characterised by a Quercus-Carya mixed deciduous forest which was probably present in the plain and on the slopes surrounding the Caudina valley basin. The following samples record a drastic decrease in Carya pollen grains and the contemporary increase in herbs and Pinus. A more open environment established around the river shores due to a climate shift towards dryer conditions. Most of the vertebrate remains were found in the upper portion of the succession corresponding to the zone with reduced Carya pollen. The fossil mammal assemblage includes mainly large mammals such as Elephantidae indet., Hippopotamus antiquus, Axis eurygonos, Praemegaceros sp., Equus suessenbornensis and Stephanorhinus cf. S. hundsheimensis. In addition, two hyena coprolites and fragments of rodent teeth were collected. The high amount of Carya at the base of the succession represents the most peculiar feature of the Saticula floral record and was used as a reference for its chronological constrain. In fact, comparison with other Italian pollen successions allowed the Saticula record to be tentatively ascribed to the late Early Pleistocene. After that period, Carya was never recorded in so high amounts and gradually disappeared from the Italian flora following a heterochronous latitudinal gradient. The Saticula mammal assemblage is in agreement with the chronological framework suggested by pollen data.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/362812
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