Pliocene–Quaternary contourite depositional system along the south-western Adriatic margin: changes in sedimentary stacking pattern and associated bottom currents

Claudio Pellegrini*, Vittorio Maselli, Fabio Trincardi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Pliocene-Quaternary history of the southwestern Adriatic margin, represented by a complex contourite depositional system, records the palaeoceanography of the basin and the interactions between oceanographic processes and the uneven slope morphology that resulted from tectonic deformation. Three main stages can be recognized: (1) during the Pliocene, a giant sediment drift formed on the southern flank of the slope-transverse Gondola anticline that focused and accelerated the flow of slope-parallel bottom currents; (2) since the early to middle Pleistocene transition, a reorganization of bottom-current pathways led to a sharp change in the sedimentary architecture of the margin that became dominated by the growth of contourite deposits; (3) as of 350 ka, landward-migrating contourites on the outer shelf (less than 120 m water depth) reflect the presence of bottom currents also in shallow waters. This analysis of the sedimentary stacking pattern of the contourite depositional system that developed along the south-western Adriatic margin since the Pliocene enables disentangling the processes that controlled changes in bottom-current activity, demonstrating that bottom-current deposits constitute the bulk of depositional sequences at the Milankovitch timescale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-79
Number of pages13
JournalGeo-Marine Letters
Volume36
Issue number1
Early online date29 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

Keywords

  • MEDITERRANEAN OUTFLOW WATER
  • SEA GENERAL-CIRCULATION
  • NORTH-ATLANTIC OCEAN
  • BARI CANYON
  • SHELF-EDGE
  • CONTINENTAL RISE
  • STOREGGA SLIDE
  • SLOPE
  • VARIABILITY
  • DRIFTS

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