High-resolution seismic stratigraphy has been applied to the interpretation of the stratigraphic architecture of Late Pleistocene and Holocene successions on the continental shelf and upper slope of the Gulf of Castellammare, North-Western Sicily. The Late Quaternary type 1 depositional sequence is bounded by a regional unconformity and it is made up of four systems tracts, developed under fourth order relative sea level fluctuations, after the previous highstand of isotope Stage 5e. Systems tract are located in different parts of the basin, two being confined to the outer shelf and the upper slope, the other developed along the inner shelf. Facies associations, geomorphological elements, and variations in sediment supply analysis highlighted the complexity of this sequence, which records the repeated changes of accommodation space, triggered by glacio-eustatism coupled with a moderate tectonic uplift. This paper underlines the importance of local controlling factors, such as the seafloor morphology and the occurrence and distribution of multiple source points of sediment, on the variability of the depositional patterns of a wave-dominated continental shelf during the genesis of a fourth order depositional sequence.

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