Depositional systems, evolution of the Biosphere, Past Life and Deep Time

Fission tracks in apatite

Sedimentary rocks, and the fossil record preserved therein, represent a terrific archive of the evolution of Life and the exogenic Earth system, past climates included. In addition, both sediments and fossils do bear time significance, and they have been crucial in discovering the “deep time” of the Earth and in constructing the present Geologic Time Scale (GTS).

Albeit Paleontology and Stratigraphy are commonly known as independent disciplines, a “modern” approach requires tight integration and collaboration with other specialists. The significance of rock record, as well as the mode and tempo of life evolution, allows for a deep understanding of past climates and ocean systems.

The integration of paleontology, stratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy and stable isotope geochemistry is the approach used by scientists of the DG, who commonly have active collaborations with other national and international research institutions. The related scientific outcomings are often largely interdisciplinary and address multiple issues spanning from regional to global scale.

Upper Triassic sediments of the Dolomites                                                                                                                                                  Upper Triassic conodonts from Sicily


Within the program "Depositional systems, evolution of the Biosphere, Past Life and Deep Time", the following research lines can be listed:

  • Sedimentology, Basin Analysis, Regional Geology, Facies Analysis (contacts: Anna Breda, Massimiliano Ghinassi, Valerio Olivetti, Nereo Preto, Cristina Stefani, Massimiliano Zattin).
  • Macro- and Micro-Paleontology, Paleoecology,Paleoclimatology, Paleoceanography (contacts: Claudia Agnini, Luca Capraro, Eliana Fornaciari, Roberto Gatto, Luca Giusberti, Stefano Monari, Nereo Preto, Manuel Rigo).
  • Stratigraphy, Chronostratigraphy and Geological Time Scales (contacts: Claudia Agnini, Luca Capraro, Eliana Fornaciari, Luca Giusberti, Nereo Preto, Manuel Rigo).