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This paper presents geophysical and core data obtained from several marine geology surveys carried out in the western Black Sea. These data provide a solid record of water-level fluctuation during the Last Glacial Maximum in the Black Sea. A Last Glacial Maximum lowstand wedge evidenced at the shelf edge in Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey represents the starting point of this record. Then, a first transgressive system is identified as the Danube prodelta built under ~40 m of water depth. The related rise in water level is interpreted to have been caused by an increase in water provided to the Black Sea by the melting of the ice after 18,000 yr B.P., drained by the largest European rivers (Danube, Dnieper, Dniester). Subsequently, the Black Sea lacustrine shelf deposits formed a significant basinward-prograding wedge system, interpreted as forced regression system tracts. On top of these prograding sequences, there is a set of sand dunes that delineates a wave-cut terrace-like feature around the isobath −100 m. The upper part of the last prograding sequence is incised by anastomosed channels that end in the Danube (Viteaz) canyon, which are also built on the lacustrine prograding wedge. Overlying this succession, there is a shelfwide unconformity visible in very high-resolution seismic-reflection profiles and present all over the shelf. A uniform drape of marine sediment above the unconformity is present all over the continental shelf with practically the same thickness over nearby elevations and depressions. This mud drape represents the last stage of the Black Sea water-level fluctuation and is set after the reconnection of this basin with the Mediterranean Sea.

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