Depth of Mediterranean basin and flood dynamics

David Campbell (
Tue, 2 Nov 1999 10:48:24 -0400

With Africa continuing to push northward, a lot of deepwater deposits have
been uplifted around the Mediterranean. I collected fossils at Torrente
Stirone, a creek along the border of Parma in northwest Italy. The
Messinian (i.e., just pre-flooding) is lacustrine but has marine bathyal
lower Pliocene immediately overlying it. I do not know what depth
indicators were used; there are mollusks and microfossils that could both
provide some evidence of depth. The transition is abrupt, but with
unconsolidated sediment it is hard to rule out faulting (the beds are now
tilted so that the stream provides a continuous section from the Miocene
through the Pleistocene).

A slow start to flooding is not necessarily a problem. If the handiest
high ground was below the final water level, people may have headed in the
wrong direction to escape.

David C.