This work focuses on the carbonate factories constituting the Pietra di Finale Fm cropping out in the Ligurian Alps. This unit constituted a mixed carbonate-siliciclastic coastal wedge developed during the Middle Miocene. The carbonate factories characterizing the coastal wedge of the Pietra di Finale clearly differ from those of the coastal mixed systems and carbonate platforms developing during the Miocene elsewhere in the Mediterranean area. Here, in the Ligurian Alps, the euphotic carbonate factory does not show any evidence of seagrass meadows and coral bioconstructions. Zooxanthellate corals are present only as skeletal debris associated with abundant stylasterids. In the mesophotic and oligophotic zones, the typical oligophotic biota of red algae and larger benthic foraminifers are strongly reduced. The coastal wedge of the Pietra di Finale shows an unusual abundance of stylasterids, classically interpreted as deep-water biota. However, in this example, the absence of low-energy textures and other skeletal components suggest a shallow-water origin, probably in the eu- or mesophotic zone. The stylasterids colonized the hard substrates available and were successively removed and resedimented to form the skeletal fraction of the coastal wedge of the Pietra di Finale. The abundance of stylasterids is restricted to particular and limited situations in the Miocene of the Mediterranean, thus suggesting that their abnormal development is controlled by local rather than global factors.
Carbonate factory of Pietra di Finale coastal wedge (Miocene): the unusual abundance of stylasterids (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa) / Brandano, M; Tomassetti, L; Puce, S. - In: FACIES. - ISSN 0172-9179. - 68:3(2022). [10.1007/s10347-022-00652-5]