On the occurrence of Early Pliocene marine deposits in the Ierapetra Basin, Eastern Crete, Greece

 

Authors: Drinia H, Antonarakou A, Kontakiotis G

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 83, issue 1; pages: 63 - 78; Received 23 January 2007; Accepted in revised form 14 June 2007;

Keywords: biostratigraphy, foraminifera, palaeoenvironment, Early Pliocene, eastern Crete,

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Abstract

A marine sedimentary sequence of the Pakhiammos section that crops out in the Ierapetra Basin (eastern Crete, Greece) is described here in detail for the first time. Diverse and abundant foraminifera have been recovered from the Pakhiammos section. Planktonic species indicate that sediments span the interval from Zone MPL1 to above the MPL1/MPL2 boundary (Zanclean, early Pliocene). R-mode cluster analysis identified three benthic foraminiferal assemblages named by their dominant taxa: Bolivina spathulata, Cibicidoides pseudoungerianus, and Siphonina reticulata assemblages respectively. Palaeoenvironmental implications of each assemblage and their stratigraphic distribution allow the recognition of two fossil associations: a well-diversified Association A, representative of a stable marine ecosystem, and a less diversified Association B, representative of a sapropel-like event. The deposition of the sapropel-like interval suggests that sapropels resulted from the interaction between sea surface temperature variations, productivity increases and reduced bottom water ventilation. This study represents the first report of early Pliocene marine sediments in the Ierapetra Basin and contributes to the understanding of the evolution of the Neogene basins in eastern Crete.

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