High Mediterranean water-level during the Lago-Mare phase of the Messinian Salinity Crisis: insights from the Sr isotope records of Spanish marginal basins (SE Spain)

Federico Andreetto*, K Matsubara, C. J. Beets, A.R. Fortuin, Rachel M Flecker, Wout Krijgsman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

The Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) successions record extreme fluctuations in the Mediterranean’s environmental conditions. However, some of the scenarios that are thought to have caused these extreme environments are contentious. One prominent example of this is the Mediterranean water level during the Lago-Mare stage of the MSC, which is interpreted either as being very low during a largely desiccated Mediterranean punctuated by endorheic lakes (lacustrine scenario) or sufficiently high to enable basin-wide connectivity across the Mediterranean and with the Atlantic and the Eastern Paratethys (lagoonal scenario). In SE Spain, adjoining marginal basins of Sorbas, Nijar and Vera exhibit sedimentary records of the Lago-Mare stage. Here we present 11 new 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratios measured on ostracod (Cyprideis sp.) valves from these successions, which add to the 11 already published data from these basins and whose significance, in terms of water provenance, has not been fully explored. In parallel, we construct a mass balance model that provides quantitative insights into the Sr isotopic composition of the water in which the ostracods dwelt. Overall, measured and published 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratios from Sorbas (0.709066-0.709131), Nijar (0.708814-0.709099) and Vera (0.708764-0.708813) all show lower values than modelled ratios for endorheic lakes (>0.7100). These Spanish basins therefore require an additional source of water with a lower Sr isotope signature which is likely to have been derived from the main Mediterranean waterbody (0.7086-0.7087). This interpretation implies that at least the Western Mediterranean had a relatively high and fluctuating water level during the Lago-Mare stage of the MSC.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110139
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Sr isotopes
  • Neogene basins
  • Basin connectivity
  • SE Spain
  • Messinian Salinity Crisis

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