Paleo‐thermal constraints on the origin of native diagenetic sulfur in the Messinian evaporites: The Northern Apennines foreland basin case study (Italy)

Francesco Paolo Rossi*, Andrea Schito, Vinicio Manzi, Marco Roveri, Sveva Corrado, Stefano Lugli, Matteo Reghizzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Abstract: Recent studies on the genesis of sedimentary native sulfur deposits indicate diagenetic mid‐low temperature Bacterial Sulfate Reduction (BSR) as the main process, involving organic compounds (kerogen/hydrocarbons), bacterial colonies and gypsiferous rocks. In the peri‐Mediterranean area (Southern Spain, Sicily, Northern Apennines, Israel), the main sulfur accumulations are always associated with late Miocene sulfates and organic‐rich successions encompassing the Messinian salinity crisis (MSC). In particular, the Messinian successions of the Apennine‐Adriatic foreland basin system, due to a large amount of high‐resolution stratigraphic data, represent a perfect case study for understanding the diagenetic conditions controlling the development of the BSR process during sedimentary basin evolution. In this work, thermal models performed in three sub‐basins in a sector of the Northern Apennines comprised of the Sillaro and Marecchia rivers (Italy), calibrated by means of organic and inorganic geothermometers, indicate a general thermal immaturity of the studied successions attained as a result of a constant heat flow similar to the present day one (ca. 40 mW/m2) since Late Tortonian and lithostatic loads between 615 and 1,710 m depending on different sub‐basins. These results suggest that the MSC deposits experienced maximum temperatures between about 39°C and 65°C. Temperatures derived from thermal models have been used to constraint occurrence of the diagenetic BSR associated with evaporitic deposits providing thermal constraints in sulfur genesis as well as new useful thermal‐constraints for basin analysis studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2500-2516
Number of pages17
JournalBasin Research
Issue number4
Early online date15 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

This work has benefited from the equipment and frame-work of the COMP- HUB Initiative (University of Parma), funded by the Department of Excellence programme of the Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research (MIUR, 2018- 2022). This work has benefited from University of Roma Tre MIUR funds for the Department of Excellence. This work has benefited from the University of Parma FIL2016- 2018 responsible Professor Marco Roveri, University of Parma FIL2016- 2018 responsible Professor Vinicio Manzi, MIUR PhD scholarship 2016- 2019. Platte River Associates, Inc is kindly acknowledged for providing BasinMod2D® software for research purposes. Massimo Rossi (ENI S.p.A., Milano, Italy) is kindly acknowledged for his review of the manuscript

Data Availability Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


  • Bacterial Sulfate Reduction
  • gypsum‐anhydrite transition
  • Messinian salinity crisis
  • sedimentary sulfur
  • thermal modelling
  • vitrinite reflectance
  • anhydrite transition
  • gypsum&#8208


Dive into the research topics of 'Paleo‐thermal constraints on the origin of native diagenetic sulfur in the Messinian evaporites: The Northern Apennines foreland basin case study (Italy)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this