High-resolution δ13C and δ180 curves, calibrated against planktonic foraminiferal and calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy, are provided for the upper Aptian–lower Cenomanian pelagic succession of the Gargano Promontory (Coppa della Nuvola section, southern Italy). The succession consists of two superimposed formations: the Marne a Fucoidi and the Scaglia (lower portion only). According to our integrated biostratigraphy, the entire succession spans the latest Aptian (planktonic foraminiferal T. bejaouaensis and calcareous nannofossil R. angustus Zones) and early Cenomanian stages (R. cushmani Zone CC9c). The Marne a Fucoidi–Scaglia transition falls in the late Albian (R. ticinensis Zone; CC9a+b Subzones). The high-resolution δ13C curve from the Coppa della Nuvola section can be subdivided into characteristic segments. Four negative shifts of δ13C are recorded, followed by increasing values in, respectively, the early Albian (C11, C12), the early late Abian (C14, C 15), the late Albian (C16, C17), and the early Cenomanian (C22). The late Albian carbon-isotope event, corresponding to the Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE) 1d or Breistroffer Event, is possibly missing in the Coppa della Nuvola section as a result of condensation or erosion (C19–C20?). Even if, in the section studied, carbon-rich levels are not recorded (though some stratigraphic intervals are covered by Quaternary deposits in the lower portion), it is likely that the lower Albian (T. primula; P. columnata Zones) and the upper Albian (T. praeticinensis Subzone– R. subticinensis Zone; R. achlyostaurion Zone) positive δ13C peaks succeeding negative trends in δ13C (C11–C12; C16–17) record the pattern of global carbon burial, documented in other areas of the Gargano Promontory and elsewhere and connected to the OAE1b and OAE1c. Some or all of the negative δ13C shifts may record the introduction of isotopically light carbon into the ocean−atmosphere system from the dissociation of gas hydrates. The δ18O curve of the Coppa della Nuvola section shows a similar trend to that of the δ13C curve. Although partly of diagenetic origin, the negative shifts in the early Albian, late Albian and early Cenomanian may be interpreted as records of warming events resulting from the introduction of methane and its oxidation product carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The palaeoceanographic conditions inferred by the biotic and isotopic changes suggest fluctuating meso-eutrophic conditions through the late-Aptian–early-middle Albian and increasingly stable oligotrophic situation starting from the late Albian interval. Two main possible episodes of increased eutrophy, suggested by pulses in radiolarian abundance and marked drop in foraminiferal diversity, occurred during the Albian and correlate with the above-mentioned positive carbon-isotope shifts and regional and supraregional accumulation of organic matter (OAE1b and OAE1c).
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