Mixed carbonate-siliciclastic record on the North African margin (Malta)—coupling of weathering processes and mid Miocene climate

We investigated rock outcrops spanning the middle Miocene, global climate-cooling step on the Maltese Islands in order to reconstruct continental weathering rates and terrigenous fluxes, as well as to explore the coupling between these later, regional climate and carbonate accumulations. Sedimentation at this location was dominated during the Oligocene and early Miocene by a transitional platform to slope carbonates but progressively switched to a clay-rich carbonate slope system in the middle Miocene. Around 13 Ma, an abrupt change toward clay-dominated marls occurred, and marl deposition persisted until the Tortonian (ca. 12 Ma), when a shallow-water carbonate ramp was reestablished. Clay mineralogy and bulk-rock oxygen isotope analyses suggest that the deposition of the Blue Clay formation was mainly caused by global climate change and related change in the rate of continental weathering …

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