Late Quaternary turbidite input into the east Mediterranean basin: new radiocarbon constraints on climate and sea-level control
Michael S. Reeder, Dorrik A. V. Stow, R. Guy Rothwell, 2002. "Late Quaternary turbidite input into the east Mediterranean basin: new radiocarbon constraints on climate and sea-level control", Sediment Flux to Basins: Causes, Controls and Consequences, S.J. Jones, L.E. Frostick
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The Late Pleistocene-Holocene (0–30 ka BP) allochthonous sedimentation in the Herodotus Basin of the eastern Mediterranean has been controlled, in part, by a combination of regional climatic change and eustatic sea-level fluctuation. A new series of radiocarbon dates, made on planktonic foraminifers and pteropod shells taken from the pelagic and hemipelagic intervals between individual turbidite units, has given bracketing dates for each major turbidity current event that deposited sand and mud on the Herodotus Basin plain. Two partly independent cycles are evident. Climate-induced cycles have lead to an alternation of periods of turbidites sourced from the Nile delta-fan system with those from the North African shelf and Anatolian rise. These correlate with pluvial and inter-pluvial climatic periods recognized in the Nile hinterland. Sea-level cycles have tended to focus turbidite emplacement, from whatever source, at periods of sea-level fall within the latest Wisconsin and sea-level rise from the Wisconsin-Holocene period. In addition to the Herodotus Basin Megaturbidite (HBM) described previously, six other beds with volumes in excess of 25 km3 and wide lateral extent across the basin can be termed megaturbidites. There is no simple sea-level or climate control on the timing of these events, so we must conclude that triggering and emplacement of megaturbidites is independent and variable.
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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.