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Parente M., Frijia G. & Di Lucia M.


Comment on "Sea-level control on facies architecture in the Cenomanian-Coniacian Apulian margin (Western Tethys): A record of glacio-eustatic fluctuations during the Cretaceous greenhouse?"

by Galeotti S., Rusciadelli G., Sprovieri M., Lanci L., Gaudio A., Pekar S., 2009.


[Palaeogeogr.Palaeoclimatol.Palaeoecol. 276, 196-205], Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 293 (2010) 255– 259, doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.11.035



Galeotti et al. (2009; Galeotti S., Rusciadelli G., SprovieriM., Lanci L., Gaudio A., Pekar S., A record of glacio-eustatic fluctuations during the Cretaceous greenhouse? Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclimatol. Palaeoecol. 276, 196–205) (hereafter Getal09) use the sequence stratigraphic record of a Cenomanian–Coniacian base-of-slope succession, exposed in the Morrone mountain of central Italy, to calibrate the sea-level history inferred from the adjacent Lazio-Abruzzi carbonate platform. The episodes of sea-level fall recorded by this carbonate platform and slope in the western Tethys are said to coincide with episodes of global cooling and sea-level fall recorded in the New Jersey margin (Miller, K.G., Sugarman, P.J., Browning, J.V., Kominz,M.A.,Hernández, J.C., Olsson, R.K.,Wright, J.D., Feigenson,M.D.,

Van Sickel, W., 2003. Late Cretaceous chronology of large rapid sea-level changes: glacioeustasy during the greenhouse world. Geology 31, 585–588). On the basis of this correlation, Getal09 claim that the Late Cretaceous sea-level history of the Lazio-Abruzzi carbonate platform was controlled by glacio-eustatic fluctuations. This conclusion conflicts with a wealth of published data supporting the view that the major unconformities in the Cretaceous carbonate platforms of central-southern Italy were controlled by regional tectonics. We will show how the sea-level history of the Lazio-Abruzzi carbonate platform proposed by Getal09, and its correlation with the base-of-slope section, hinge on a misrepresentation of the chronostratigraphic resolution attainable with biostratigraphy in shallow-water carbonate facies. We will also show how, contrary towhat claimed by Getal09, the age-model for their base-of-slope section does not support the correlation with the New Jersey margin sequences. Finally, we will argue that, in Upper Cretaceous carbonate platforms, the integration of bio- and chemostratigraphy can greatly improve stratigraphic resolution and chronostratigraphic correlation. This is a prerequisite for using the shallow-water record to test the hypothesis of global glacio-eustatic fluctuations in the Cretaceous greenhouse.


a r t i c l e  i n f o

Article history:

Received 6 June 2009

Received in revised form 5 November 2009

Accepted 10 November 2009

Available online 31 March 2010.



Late Cretaceous

Sequence stratigraphy




Lazio-Abruzzi carbonate platform (Italy)


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