Late Quaternary turbidite input into the east Mediterranean basin: new radiocarbon constraints on climate and sea-level control

M. S. Reeder, D. A. V. Stow, R. Guy Rothwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Late Pleistocene-Holocene (0–30 ka BP) allochthonous sedimentation in the Herodotus Basin of the eastern Mediterranean has been controlled, in part, by a combination of regional climatic change and eustatic sea-level fluctuation. A new series of radiocarbon dates, made on planktonic foraminifers and pteropod shells taken from the pelagic and hemipelagic intervals between individual turbidite units, has given bracketing dates for each major turbidity current event that deposited sand and mud on the Herodotus Basin plain. Two partly independent cycles are evident. Climate-induced cycles have lead to an alternation of periods of turbidites sourced from the Nile delta-fan system with those from the North African shelf and Anatolian rise. These correlate with pluvial and inter-pluvial climatic periods recognized in the Nile hinterland. Sea-level cycles have tended to focus turbidite emplacement, from whatever source, at periods of sea-level fall within the latest Wisconsin and sea-level rise from the Wisconsin-Holocene period. In addition to the Herodotus Basin Megaturbidite (HBM) described previously, six other beds with volumes in excess of 25 km3 and wide lateral extent across the basin can be termed megaturbidites. There is no simple sea-level or climate control on the timing of these events, so we must conclude that triggering and emplacement of megaturbidites is independent and variable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-278
Number of pages12
JournalGeological Society Special Publications
Volume191
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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