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ABSTRACT

An ~10-m-thick sequence of Quaternary eolian sands from the island of Vis (Croatia) was investigated with the aim to unravel and understand their origin, characteristics, and age. The sand deposit is situated in a karstic depression in the eastern part of the island at an altitude of ~100 m above sea level (a.s.l.), and it is composed of a subhorizontally laminated unit at the bottom underlying a cross-bedded unit. The sand is very well sorted and fine grained and composed predominantly of carbonate lithic fragments, which most likely originated from the Dinaric karst region. The siliciclastic component of these sands reflects a more complex lithological source, including older sedimentary (e.g., flysch successions in the area, as well as older Quaternary deposits), magmatic, and metamorphic rocks probably originating from the Inner Dinarides, which were eroded and comminuted by glacial and periglacial activity during the last glacial period, and transported toward the Adriatic foreland by major rivers such as the Cetina and Neretva. Grain size and shape characteristics of the sands as well as their sedimentary structure indicate their eolian origin. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating was applied to determine the depositional age of the sediment. The obtained ages can be correlated to the Last Glacial Maximum (oxygen isotope stage [OIS] 2), implying that during the peak of that glaciation, the central Adriatic basin was dry land, a vast plain exposed to eolian deflation.

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