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Late Quaternary turbidite input into the east Mediterranean basin: new radiocarbon constraints on climate and sea-level control

By
Michael S. Reeder
Michael S. Reeder
School of Ocean and Earth Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK (e-mail: davs@soc.soton.ac.uk)
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Dorrik A. V. Stow
Dorrik A. V. Stow
School of Ocean and Earth Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK (e-mail: davs@soc.soton.ac.uk)
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R. Guy Rothwell
R. Guy Rothwell
Challenger Division for Seafloor Processes, Southampton Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2002

Abstract

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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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Sediment Flux to Basins: Causes, Controls and Consequences

S.J. Jones
S.J. Jones
University of Durham, UK
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L.E. Frostick
L.E. Frostick
University of Hull, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
191
ISBN electronic:
9781862394391
Publication date:
January 01, 2002

GeoRef

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