Abstract: 

Results of a detailed sedimentological study of the mid-Pleistocene Gilbert-type Ilias delta at the southern coast of the Corinth Rift, Greece, are reported. The study indicates that the development of a turbidite-dominated facies assemblage (TFA) of delta foreset deposits is associated with an oblique delta-brink geometry, which signifies a deficit of delta-front accommodation due to the falling or stable base level. A debrite-dominated assemblage (DFA) of foreset deposits forms when the base level is rising and the delta-brink geometry becomes sigmoidal, signifying an increase in delta-front accommodation. The comparison of coeval foreset and toeset to bottomset deposits in the delta indicates a reverse pattern of reciprocal changes in facies assemblages, with the foreset TFA deposits corresponding to delta-foot DFA deposits, and with the foreset DFA deposits corresponding to delta-foot TFA deposits. This reciprocal alternation of TFA and DFA facies assemblages is attributed to changes in the delta-front accommodation driven by short-term base-level changes, with a degree of “noise” in the facies record due to the system autogenic variability and regional climatic fluctuations. The study sheds a new light on the changing pattern of subaqueous sediment dispersal in Gilbert-type deltaic systems in response to base-level changes. It also indicates a new possibility for the recognition of a hidden record of such changes in other similar ancient deltas on the basis of their detailed facies analysis.

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