Tectono-climatic controls of the early rift alluvial succession: Plio-Pleistocene Corinth Rift (Greece)

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Romain Hemelsdaël
  • Julien Charreau
  • Mary Ford
  • Maria Sekar Proborukmi
  • Fabrice Malartre
  • Brigitte Urban
  • Pierre-Henri Blard
Proximal alluvial sediments represent a useful sedimentary archive to reconstruct the tectono-climatic history of continental rift basins. However, poor dating of coarse fluvial successions usually prevents high-resolution distinction of tectonic and climatic processes, and thus good determination of process rates. This paper presents a dating study of Plio-Pleistocene Kalavryta river system during the early history of the Corinth Rift (northern Peloponnese, Greece) based on magnetostratigraphy and palynology. This river system developed across several active normal fault blocks that are now uplifted along the southern rift margin. The detailed sedimentary record constrains alluvial architectures from the proximal basin to the river outlet where small deltas built into a shallow lake. In four magnetostratigraphy sections the correlation to the reference scale relies on the identification of the Gauss/Matuyama magnetic reversal and biostratigraphic elements. The river system developed between about 3.6 to 1.8 Ma, with sediment accumulation rates (SARs) ranging from 0.40 to 0.75 mm yr−1. SAR is lower in the alluvial fans than in the deltaic system, and higher at the centre of the normal fault depocentres than at the fault tip. By comparison with worldwide Cenozoic SARs, our values are higher but lie in the same range as those determined in coarse alluvial foreland basins. Moreover, in the context of overfilled intra-mountainous rift basins, these rates are minimum values and can be used as a proxy for accommodation rate. Therefore, early rift stratal wedges and growth synclines attest high sedimentation rates and also high rates of tectonic processes. Finally, in the distal river system, floral compositions and changes of vegetation deduced from palynological data are coherent with alternating fluvio-deltaic and shallow lacustrine deposits, which are linked to relative base level variations. Dry/cool climate is preferentially recorded during periods of low lake level, while the warm/moist climate is mainly recorded in prodelta deposits during periods of high lake level. This correlation suggests that, despite the dominant control of active faulting, climate is a key control of syn-rift stratigraphic architectures.
ZeitschriftPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Anzahl der Seiten21
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 15.08.2021