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The Devonian–Carboniferous boundary in the Carnic Alps (Austria and Italy)


In the Carnic Alps there are four sections exposing rocks across the Devonian–Carboniferous boundary: the Grüne Schneid and the Kronhofgraben sections in Austria, the Plan di Zermula A and the Sentiero per Cresta Verde sections in Italy. All of them are mainly composed of limestone and span from the late Famennian through the Tournaisian. In the Kronhofgraben and Plan di Zermula A sections, the limestone sedimentation is interrupted by black shales interpreted as equivalent of the Hangenberg Black Shales. The Grüne Schneid and the Sentiero per Cresta Verde sections are two of the few sections worldwide, where the calcareous sedimentation is continuous. The main extinction event registered at the end of the Devonian is testified not only in the sections where the calcareous sedimentation was replaced by black shales sedimentation but also in the Grüne Schneid and in the Sentiero per Cresta Verde sections. Data on conodont biostratigraphy and biofacies, the content in ammonoids, and trilobites and geochemistry patterns from all sections are here summarised and reviewed. These data-set allow to conclude that the four Carnic Alps sections positively test the suitability of the timeline proposed by the DCB working group for the definition of the revised Devonian–Carboniferous boundary.

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C. Spalletta and M.C. Perri thank Mr. Paolo Ferrieri (University of Bologna) for photographs of conodonts. The authors are grateful to Catherine Girard, Tomas J. Suttner and the handling editor Markus Aretz for their fruitful comments. The research of C. Spalletta, M.C. Perri and C. Venturini was supported by RFO funding (University of Bologna). C. Corradini research was partly supported by grants PRID and FIR (resp. C. Corradini), and FdS-RAS (funding F72F16003080002). This paper is a contribution to IGCP Project n. 652 “Reading time in Paleozoic sedimentary Rock”. Contribution ISEM 2019-077.

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Correspondence to Claudia Spalletta.

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This article is a contribution to the special issue “Global review of the Devonian-Carboniferous Boundary”.

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Spalletta, C., Corradini, C., Feist, R. et al. The Devonian–Carboniferous boundary in the Carnic Alps (Austria and Italy). Palaeobio Palaeoenv (2020).

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  • Devonian–Carboniferous boundary
  • Conodont biostratigraphy
  • Hangenberg event
  • Geochemistry
  • Carnic Alps
  • Austria
  • Italy