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Lignitiferous clay at Gagliano del Capo (Lecce); chronostratigraphy and formational characterization


, : Lignitiferous clay at Gagliano del Capo (Lecce); chronostratigraphy and formational characterization. Geologica Romana 39: 15-25

In the geological literature of the Salento Peninsula the knowledges on the lignite clayey deposits are very scarce and lacunose. Hydraulic works performed in the surrounding of Gagliano del Capo (Lecce) have offered the opportunity to improve our knowledge about the. Tertiary stratigraphy of Salento, with special regards to the chronological attribution of these lignite clayey deposits. In analogy with the stratigraphical data emerged in numerous perforations until now effected in different places of the Salento, the lignite clayey deposits here studied result overlapped on a blanket of mineralized residual deposits ("bauxitic residual deposits") resting on the local carbonatic Mesozoic basement. The clayey deposits are covered by transgressive calcarenitic sediments, of Miocene or more recent age. Notably, contrary to previous works, biostratigraphical indications provided by the ostracod assemblages and by the gastropod Ampullinopsis crassatina, (Lamarck, 1804) recovered from Gagliano del Capo section, allowed to assign the lignite clayey deposits to the late Oligocene. The transgressive position on residual primarily bauxitic deposits, resting on the carbonatic Mesozoic basement, the evident analogies of facies and the likeness of the depositional environment referable to coastal restricted brackish waters episodically connected with the open sea, the similarity of the macro and microfossils content and the presence of lignite layers as well as of the rich organic matter content permit to reasonably attribute these deposits to that recently formalized (Bossio et al., 1999) as Galatone Formation. The studied succession allows to provide new data for the interpretation of the rich in lignite sediment of transitional environment recorded in the Mediterranean during the Late Oligocene. Particularly the sedimentological features and the common presence of lignite testify the existence of similarities with coeval sediments from the SW and Middle East Spain, Greece and Turkey (Cabrera & Saez, 1987; Querol et al., 1996 and Ramos et al., 2001). Altogether, the similarities with the Oligocene Mediterranean and Iranian gastropod faunas (Harzhauser et al., 2002) requires to consider the studied succession in a Western Tethyan Region, which otherwise can be split into a Mediterranean-Iranian Province (Western and Eastern Mediterranean, Cyrenaica, Armenia, Libya, Syria, Palestine, Central Iran).

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