Original paper

Genesis and composition of the Pleistocene Coralligene de plateau of the Cutro Terrace (Calabria, southern Italy)

Basso, Daniela; Nalin, Ronald; Massari, Francesco


Some mid-Pleistocene carbonate build-ups from the marine terrace of Cutro show the uncommon, biologically-induced change of substrate that is implied in the definition of coralligène de plateau: from coarse, biogenic sediment to the solid framework. The build-ups grew over a basal rhodolithic layer mostly composed of Sporolithon ptychoides which was stabilized and transformed into a hard substrate by the binding activity and overgrowth of non-geniculate Corallinales (calcareous red algae). The build-ups are dominated by Titanoderma pustulatum, whose role in biogenic construction was previously underestimated, in association with Mesophyllum spp. and locally with Lithophyllum stictaeforme. Intergenicula of Amphiroa cryptarthrodia are common.


coralligenousbio-constructionhard substraterhodolithscorallinalescalcareous algaepleistocene