Sediment fluxes and the evolution of a riverine-supplied tectonically-active coastal system: Kyparissiakos Gulf, Ionian Sea (eastern Mediterranean)
Serafim E. Poulos, George Voulgaris, Vasilis Kapsimalis, Michael Collins, Graham Evans, 2002. "Sediment fluxes and the evolution of a riverine-supplied tectonically-active coastal system: Kyparissiakos Gulf, Ionian Sea (eastern Mediterranean)", Sediment Flux to Basins: Causes, Controls and Consequences, S.J. Jones, L.E. Frostick
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Kyparissiakos Gulf, located in the southwestern part of Greece (northeastern Ionian Sea), is a riverine-coastal system that has developed over the southern flank of the Alpine orogenic belt (Hellenides). Some 4 km in the vertical separates the heights of the mountain peaks to the depths of the adjacent offshore deep-water basin. This system extends horizontally over approximately 100 km. The area experiences intensive tectonism (e.g. seismicity), a Mediterranean type of climate and microtidal and moderate wave-energy oceanographic settings.
Large quantities of sediments (>2.5 × 106 t year−1), transferred principally by the River Alfios, are the product of denudation of the high relief (in excess of 2000 m), developed on erodible lithology (with siliciclastics and carbonates >90%) under moderate climatological conditions. The large amounts of sediments produced in the hinterland, in association with land-ocean process interaction, have led to the formation of a coastal zone that includes deltaic plains and coastal barriers with dune fields, which enclose lagoons. The shape and morphological characteristics of the shore zone indicate, clearly: (a) the dominance of the wave activity; (b) an overall northward longshore sediment movement; and (c) a major depocentre at the northern, naturally sheltered, end of the Gulf.
Seawards, the coastal zone includes a narrow continental shelf covered with a blanket of recent sediments, which are terrigenous in origin; these extend down a steep slope, where materials is transferred to the deep (approximately 1800 m) offshore basin (the northward component of the Hellenic Trench) primarily by gravitational mass movements; these are
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There is an increasing trend in the Earth sciences towards the integration of many subdisciplines. The sedimendatry basin, is a fundamental focal point of many studies, which as a consequence often neglects the complimentary drainage basin or catchment. Sedimentary basins provide a record of Earth history, reflecting the geographical, lithological, oceanographic and ecological development through the rock record. Drainage basins in comparison record ephemeral landscape evolution, where topography is eroded and provides the flux of sediment to the basin. The basin fill reflects the sediment flux from the hinterland and provides evidence of the dynamic geomorphic processes. In context the drainage system and sedimentary basin can be regarded as a ‘production line’ with sedimentary record giving valuable insight into long-term landscape evolution and geomorphological processes illuminating the evolution of sedimentary basins.
This volume assesses the current position of understanding sediment supply to basins with the integration of the many sub-disciplines in the Earth sciences. It documents a mix of hinterland and sedimentary basin studies with a gradation from orogenic belts to the deep marine. The authors represent a wide spectrum of Earth scientist, with leaders in the science providing review papers and new-directive papers in their field of specialization.