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Paleogeography of the Pontic Lowland and northwestern Black Sea shelf for the past 25 k.y.

By
Evgeny Larchenkov
Evgeny Larchenkov
Physical and Marine Geology, Odessa National University, 2 Shampansky Per, Odessa, 65058, Ukraine
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Sergey Kadurin
Sergey Kadurin
Physical and Marine Geology, Odessa National University, 2 Shampansky Per, Odessa, 65058, Ukraine
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Analyses of marine sediment lithology, paleorelief, and depositional environments on the northwestern Black Sea shelf were used for paleogeographic reconstructions reflecting the time periods of 30–25 ka, 15.5–15 ka, 11–10 ka, 9 ka, and 4 ka. The landscape of 25 ka, when sea level was 87 m below present, consisted of three geomorphic elements: (1) a denudation plain incised by numerous rivers and uniformly dipping southward, (2) a late Pleistocene alluvial terrace plain, within which the valleys of the Dnieper, Dniester, and Danube formed a common alluvial plain, and (3) a low coastal delta plain. The subsequent sea-level rise of the Neoeuxinian sea-lake to −55 m (15.5–15 ka) and −37 m (11–10 ka) resulted in the flooding of deltaic lowlands and a large portion of the alluvial terrace plain containing the deeply embayed Dniester and Dnieper limans. After the Drevnechernomorian transgressive phase at 9 ka, the sea flooded almost the entire late Pleistocene alluvial terrace plain, and the Dniester and Dnieper limans were converted to open marine embayments.

Through Kalamitian time (4 ka), the entire Chilia section of the Danube delta was flooded. A large tract of land existed in the region of the Tendra Spit and Odessa bank. Around 25 ka, forest landscapes were common for the highlands and valley slopes of rivers and gullies. A steppe zone occupied the alluvial plain, which dominated the landscape to the south. This study demonstrates that paleogeographic reconstructions may serve as a basis for (1) locating submerged ancient settlements and (2) constraining possible migration routes.

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GSA Special Papers

Geology and Geoarchaeology of the Black Sea Region: Beyond the Flood Hypothesis

Ilya V. Buynevich
Ilya V. Buynevich
Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Valentina Yanko-Hombach
Valentina Yanko-Hombach
Avalon Institute of Applied Science, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and Department of Physical and Marine Geology, Odessa National I.I. Mechnikov University, Odessa, Ukraine
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Allan S. Gilbert
Allan S. Gilbert
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Fordham University, Bronx, New York, USA
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Ronald E. Martin
Ronald E. Martin
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
473
ISBN print:
9780813724737
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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