The Mediterranean Basin is characterized by a significant variability in tectonic behaviour, ranging from subsidence to uplifting. However, those coastal areas considered to be tectonically stable show coastal landforms at elevations consistent with eustatic and isostatic sea level change models. In particular, geomorphological indicators—such as tidal notches or shore platforms—are often used to define the tectonic stability of the Mediterranean coasts. We present the results of swim surveys in nine rocky coastal sectors in the central Mediterranean Sea using the Geoswim approach. The entire route was covered in 22 days for a total distance of 158.5 km. All surveyed sites are considered to have been tectonically stable since the last interglacial (Marine Isotope Stage 5.5 [MIS 5.5]), because related sea level markers fit well with sea level rise models. The analysis of visual observations and punctual measurements highlighted that, with respect to the total length of surveyed coast, the occurrence of tidal notches, shore platforms, and other indicators accounts for 85% of the modern coastline, and only 1% of the MIS 5.5 equivalent. Therefore, only 1% of the surveyed coast showed the presence of fossil markers of paleo sea levels above the datum. This significant difference is mainly attributable to erosion processes that did not allow the preservation of the geomorphic evidence of past sea level stands. In the end, our research method showed that the feasibility of applying such markers to define long-term tectonic behaviour is much higher in areas where pre-modern indicators have not been erased, such as at sites with hard bedrock previously covered by post-MIS 5.5 continental deposits, e.g., Sardinia, the Egadi Islands, Ansedonia, Gaeta, and Circeo. In general, the chances of finding such preserved indicators are very low.

Preservation of modern and mis 5.5 erosional landforms and biological structures as sea level markers: A matter of luck?

Furlani S.;Vaccher V.;Biolchi S.
;
Busetti A.;
2021

Abstract

The Mediterranean Basin is characterized by a significant variability in tectonic behaviour, ranging from subsidence to uplifting. However, those coastal areas considered to be tectonically stable show coastal landforms at elevations consistent with eustatic and isostatic sea level change models. In particular, geomorphological indicators—such as tidal notches or shore platforms—are often used to define the tectonic stability of the Mediterranean coasts. We present the results of swim surveys in nine rocky coastal sectors in the central Mediterranean Sea using the Geoswim approach. The entire route was covered in 22 days for a total distance of 158.5 km. All surveyed sites are considered to have been tectonically stable since the last interglacial (Marine Isotope Stage 5.5 [MIS 5.5]), because related sea level markers fit well with sea level rise models. The analysis of visual observations and punctual measurements highlighted that, with respect to the total length of surveyed coast, the occurrence of tidal notches, shore platforms, and other indicators accounts for 85% of the modern coastline, and only 1% of the MIS 5.5 equivalent. Therefore, only 1% of the surveyed coast showed the presence of fossil markers of paleo sea levels above the datum. This significant difference is mainly attributable to erosion processes that did not allow the preservation of the geomorphic evidence of past sea level stands. In the end, our research method showed that the feasibility of applying such markers to define long-term tectonic behaviour is much higher in areas where pre-modern indicators have not been erased, such as at sites with hard bedrock previously covered by post-MIS 5.5 continental deposits, e.g., Sardinia, the Egadi Islands, Ansedonia, Gaeta, and Circeo. In general, the chances of finding such preserved indicators are very low.
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https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/13/15/2127
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2993840
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