Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Sagnotti L., Smedile A., De Martini P. M., Pantosti D., Speranza F., Winkler A., Del Carlo P., Bellucci L. G., Gasperini L. A continuous palaeosecular variation record of the last four millennia from the Augusta Bay (Sicily, Italy). In: Geophysical Journal International, vol. 184 (1) pp. 191 - 202. WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC, COMMERCE PLACE, 350 MAIN ST, MALDEN 02148, MA USA, 2011.
We present a high-resolution palaeomagnetic and rock magnetic study of two cores, MS06 and MS06-SW (6.7 and 1.1 m long, respectively), collected at 72 m below sea level in the Augusta Bay shelf (Eastern Sicily, Ionian Sea, Italy) about 2.3 km from the coastline. Geophysical surveying carried out in the sampling area highlighted the presence of a homogeneous sedimentary sequence that most likely was deposited after the Last Glacial Maximum and was not affected by anthropogenic disturbances. The two cores penetrated a monotonous mud sedimentary sequence, interrupted at similar to 3 m depth by a 3-4-cm-thick volcanic sandy layer that is correlated with the tephra fallout deposit produced by the 122 BC plinian eruption of Mt Etna. This tephra, along with radiocarbon dating of nine marine shells and with radioactive tracers for the uppermost 0.3 m (Pb-210 and Cs-137), provide the chronological constraints for the stratigraphic sequence that resulted younger than 4500 yr BP. Palaeomagnetic and rock magnetic data show that the sample sequence is magnetically homogeneous. A single peak of high magnetic mineral concentration is present and corresponds to the volcanic sandy layer. Palaeomagnetic data allowed the identification of a well-defined characteristic remanent magnetization that provides a high-resolution record of palaeosecular variation (PSV) at the sampling site. The reconstructed PSV curve is in good agreement with the available regional reference PSV curves and with the prediction from recent PSV modelling for Europe. The palaeomagnetic data obtained in this study on the one hand support and refine the age model for the cores, derived from other independent constraints, and on the other hand provide an original high-resolution PSV curve that can serve as a reference for the central Mediterranean over the last 4 ka.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04860.x
Palaeomagnetic secular variation

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