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The Numidian formation in the Central-Western Mediterranean

The widely debated late Oligocene-middle Miocene Numidian Fm (NF) consists of supermature quartzose sediments deposited in the Maghrebian Flysch Basin (MFB) outcropping from the Betic Cordillera to the Southern Apennine passing by the Maghrebian Chain. The NF is commonly composed of three lithostratigraphic members and is characterized by two vertical successions (Type A and Type B) corresponding to different sedimentation areas in the MFB. It is noteworthy the occurrence of widespread lateral successions of the NF (Types C, D and E) indicating in some cases an interference of the Numidian sedimentation with other different depositional systems and supplies. The Type C ‘Mixed Successions’, deposited in depocentre areas, are composed of supermature Numidian supply interfingering with immature siliciclastic materials, coming from the internal portion of the MFB. The Type D consists of supermature Numidian materials supplied from the Africa Margin (external sub-domains) deposited in sub-basins on the Africa-Adria margins, outside the typical Numidian depositional area. The Type E, which stratigraphically overlies both the South Iberian Margin (SIM) and the Mesomediterranean Microplate (MM), represents the migration of the Numidian depositional system to reach the opposite margins of the MFB. The occurrence at a regional scale of all the above-mentioned lateral successions reveals a great evolutionary complexity resulting also from further constraints, which must be considered for palaeogeographic and palaeotectonic reconstructions. Another important point deals with the diachronism of the top of the NF, observed eastward from the Betic-Rifian Arc and the Algerian-Tunisian Tell (Burdigalian p.p.) to Sicily (Langhian p.p.) and up to the Southern Apennine (at least Langhian/Serravallian boundary) which can be related with eastwards delay in the MFB closure.

Tectono-stratigraphic charts concerning the Type A to Type E of the Numidian Formation depicting the lateral and vertical variability of the lithofacies, significant stratigraphic markers, surfaces and gaps of the stratigraphic record. The tectonic propagation along the chain is also represented.

The palaeogeographic reconstruction of the Numidian depositional area presented in this paper,which is also included into a global kinematic model, represents a first attempt to use the software GPlates for this subject.

Cite as: Belayouni, H., Guerrera, F., Martin-Martin, M., Le Breton, E., and Tramontana, M. (2003). The Numidian formation and its Lateral Successions (Central-Western Mediterranean): a review. International Geology Review, DOI: 10.1080/00206814.2023.2199429


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