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