STRATIGRAPHY OF THE PALATINE HILL (ROME, ITALY): A RECORD OF REPEATED MIDDLE PLEISTOCENE-HOLOCENE PALEOVALLEY INCISION AND INFILL
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The Palatine Hill in Rome (Italy) represents a key site for better understanding the Middle Pleistocene-Holocene continental deposits of the Rome basin that could be investigated by the numerous boreholes drilled during the last few decades for archeological and cultural heritage conservation. In this study, 12 cores selected for their excellent recovery rate and stratigraphic coverage are described in detail discriminating 23 lithofacies. The stratigraphic data, used in combination with the information from nearby outcrops and additional boreholes provide insights into the depositional architecture of multiple incised fluvial valley infills developed in response to sea-level fluctuations occurred between Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 16 and 1. These infills comprise a range of fluvial deposits of the Tiber River system which interfinger with accurately dated pyroclastites from the Alban Hills and Sabatini Mts., thus providing important time constraints on the formation of paleovalleys. The paleovalleys correlated to MIS 14-13, 12-11 and 5d-1 have particularly well-preserved infills constituting useful analogues of trunk and tributary paleovalleys. Because the recognized lithofacies represents the building blocks of the lithostratigraphic, synthemic and sequence stratigraphic units currently in use at basin-scale, we believe their accurate field and core description complemented by graphical logs and photographic plates is important for identifying similar facies in future investigations on nearby paleovalley infills.
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