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Stratigraphic record of the asteroidal Veritas breakup in the Tortonian Monte dei Corvi section (Ancona, Italy)

Montanari, Alessandro and Farley, Ken and Claeys, Philippe and De Vleeschouwer, David and de Winter, Niels and Vansteenberge, Stef and Sinnesael, Matthias and Koeberl, Christian (2017) Stratigraphic record of the asteroidal Veritas breakup in the Tortonian Monte dei Corvi section (Ancona, Italy). Geological Society of America Bulletin, 129 (9-10). pp. 1357-1376. ISSN 0016-7606.

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The discovery of elevated concentrations of the cosmogenic radionuclide ^3He in deep-sea sediments from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 926 (Atlantic Ocean) and ODP Site 757 (Indian Ocean) points toward accretion of extraterrestrial matter, probably as a result of the catastrophic disruption of a large asteroid that produced the Veritas family of asteroids at ca. 8.3 ± 0.5 Ma, and which may have had important effects on the global climatic and ecologic systems. Here, we investigated the signatures possibly related to the Veritas event by performing a high-resolution multiproxy stratigraphic analysis through the late Tortonian−early Messinian Monte dei Corvi section near Ancona, Italy. Closely spaced bulk-rock samples through a 36-m-thick section, approximately spanning from ca. 9.9 Ma to ca. 6.4 Ma, show an ∼5-fold ^3He anomaly starting at ca. 8.5 Ma and returning to background values at ca. 6.9 Ma, confirming the global nature of the event. We then analyzed, at 5 cm intervals, bulk-rock samples for sedimentary and environmental proxies such as magnetic susceptibility, calcium carbonate content, total organic carbon, and bulk carbonate δ^(18)O and δ^(13)C, through a 21-m-thick section encompassing the ^3He anomaly. Available high-resolution sea-surface temperature data (via alkenone analyses) for this site show a temperature decrease starting exactly at the inception of the ^3He anomaly. Cyclostratigraphic fast-Fourier-transform spectral analyses of the proxies indicate an age of 8.47 ± 0.05 Ma for the inception of the ^3He anomaly. A search for impact ejecta (analogous to what is present in the late Eocene, where both a ^3He anomaly and large-scale impact events are recorded) was not successful. Detailed cyclostratigraphic analyses of our data suggest that the changes in the stable isotope series and environmental proxy series through this late Tortonian time interval had a common forcing agent, and that perturbations of orbitally forced climate cycles are present exactly through the interval with the enhanced influx of extraterrestrial ^3He. Thus, the chemostratigraphic evidence for a collisional event that created the Veritas family of asteroids, coinciding with climate perturbations on Earth, suggests yet another form of interaction between Earth and the solar system.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Farley, Ken0000-0002-7846-7546
Claeys, Philippe0000-0002-4585-7687
De Vleeschouwer, David0000-0002-3323-807X
Additional Information:© 2017 Geological Society of America. Received: 21 Dec 2016; Revised: 24 Jan 2017; Accepted: 19 Apr 2017. This research was supported by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO grants G0B8513N and G009113N), the Hercules Foundation for the upgrade of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel Stable Isotope Laboratory (Philippe Claeys), and support from the Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT; to Niels De Winter). We thank the Association “Le Montagne di San Francesco” of Coldigioco for logistical support while working on this research project. We would also like to thank Beatrice Cecchin for helping to collect the samples in the Monte dei Corvi Beach section in 2009, and preparing them for laboratory analyses at the University of Vienna. A special thanks goes to Timothy Herbert and Alexandrina Tzanova (Brown University, Rhode Island) for providing the sea-surface temperature data of the Monte dei Corvi Beach section, Laura Cleaveland-Peterson (Luther College, Iowa) for providing the raw magnetic susceptibility data from the Monte dei Corvi section, Mario Sprovieri (L’Istituto per l’Ambiente Marino Costiero del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche [CNR-IAMC], Italy) for providing the raw oxygen and carbon stable isotope data from the Cenomanian–Turonian section of Bottaccione, and Heather Stoll (University of Oviedo, Spain) for providing the raw oxygen and carbon stable isotope data from the Cenomanian–Turonian section of Contessa. We would like to thank David Bice, Jan Smit, Maurizio Mainiero, and Rodolfo Coccioni for sharing their knowledge and discussions about the stratigraphic succession at Monte dei Corvi. Last, but not least, we would like to thank David Bice, Birger Schmitz, and two other undisclosed GSA Bulletin reviewers, as well as Editors H. Dypvik and A. Cavosie, for their useful and constructive comments and suggestions, which greatly helped us to improve the form and contents of this paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (FWO)G0B8513N
Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (FWO)G009113N
Hercules FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (Belgium)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:9-10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170712-140641645
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Official Citation:Alessandro Montanari, Ken Farley, Philippe Claeys, David De Vleeschouwer, Niels de Winter, Stef Vansteenberge, Matthias Sinnesael, Christian Koeberl; Stratigraphic record of the asteroidal Veritas breakup in the Tortonian Monte dei Corvi section (Ancona, Italy). GSA Bulletin ; 129 (9-10): 1357–1376. doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:79020
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Jul 2017 21:21
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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