Coastal depositional environments are the site of complex interactions between continental and marine processes. Barrier islands are highly dynamic coastal systems, typical of these transitional environments, and are affected by sea level changes and the accumulation of transgressive deposits with the landwards migration of the coast. The offshore of Marzamemi (Syracuse Province, Sicily), in the south-eastern portion of the Hyblean foreland, represents an excellent site for the study of transgressive deposits and their connection with the sea-level changes. The available dataset consisted of new high-resolution bathymetry (Multibeam), whose description and interpretation through a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) was integrated with a grid of eighteen seismic profiles (SPARKER). In the investigated bathymetric range, from about −5 m to −60 m, a sensibly different morphological setting between the northern and southern sectors was evident. Within the whole study area, three bathymetric contours (−45 m, −35 m and −20 m) were identified and assumed as the markers of the main locations of the paleo-coastlines during the recent changes in the sea level. Along the northern sector, three submerged barrier-lagoon systems developed on a calcarenite substratum, marking important steps of the Late Quaternary sea-level rise. They coexisted with numerous karst forms (poljes and dolines). In the southern sector the transgressive environmental evolution was significantly different and submerged lagoons did not form. Here the outcropping calcarenite substratum was affected by the development of paleo-rivers and karsts structures, a tract in common along with many Mediterranean carbonate coastal areas.

Quaternary coastal landscape evolution and sea-level rise: An example from south-east sicily

Distefano S.
Primo
;
Di Stefano A.
2021

Abstract

Coastal depositional environments are the site of complex interactions between continental and marine processes. Barrier islands are highly dynamic coastal systems, typical of these transitional environments, and are affected by sea level changes and the accumulation of transgressive deposits with the landwards migration of the coast. The offshore of Marzamemi (Syracuse Province, Sicily), in the south-eastern portion of the Hyblean foreland, represents an excellent site for the study of transgressive deposits and their connection with the sea-level changes. The available dataset consisted of new high-resolution bathymetry (Multibeam), whose description and interpretation through a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) was integrated with a grid of eighteen seismic profiles (SPARKER). In the investigated bathymetric range, from about −5 m to −60 m, a sensibly different morphological setting between the northern and southern sectors was evident. Within the whole study area, three bathymetric contours (−45 m, −35 m and −20 m) were identified and assumed as the markers of the main locations of the paleo-coastlines during the recent changes in the sea level. Along the northern sector, three submerged barrier-lagoon systems developed on a calcarenite substratum, marking important steps of the Late Quaternary sea-level rise. They coexisted with numerous karst forms (poljes and dolines). In the southern sector the transgressive environmental evolution was significantly different and submerged lagoons did not form. Here the outcropping calcarenite substratum was affected by the development of paleo-rivers and karsts structures, a tract in common along with many Mediterranean carbonate coastal areas.
Barrier-lagoon system
Morphological evolution
Multibeam data
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/523506
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