The upper continental slope offshore Capo Vaticano (southern Tyrrhenian Sea) is characterized by a contourite depositional system with well-developed elongated sediment drifts. This system is related to a northward paleo-bottom current, similar to the present-day modified-Levantine Intermediate Water (modified-LIW) flowing from the Messina Strait. In this work, we show results from an integrated analysis of descriptive oceanography, high-resolution seismic profiles and core data (i.e., grain size, foraminiferal assemblages, tephrostratigraphy and AMS radiocarbon dating) collected from the crest and moat sectors of drift deposits. The studied succession formed since the mid Holocene, under the action of the modified-LIW and the stratigraphic architecture indicates an upslope migration of the moat and rather stable position of the crest sector. Grain-size features recorded from two sediment cores indicate the occurrence of a succession of complete bi-gradational sand-rich contourite sequences. Sandy facies were observed both as lag deposits formed in active moat channel and as coarser intervals of bi-gradational sequences forming drift deposits close to its crest. Their occurrence would highlight that upper slope environments impacted by intermediate water masses and proximal to sandy sources may represent favorable settings for accumulation of sandy sediment. The moat sector is characterized by a more complex stratigraphic record, where either moat sedimentation or lateral deposition of finer sediment occur, suggesting that further investigation is required to better understand this complex element of contourite systems. Based on available age information, some of the bi-gradational sequences probably formed during the Dark Age Cold Period, providing example of a small-scale cyclicity of contourite deposition, likely related to short-term (possibly multicentennial scale) fluctuations of the paleo modified-LIW. According to age constraints and analysis of foraminiferal assemblages, these fluctuations were likely governed by climate variations, with a weaker activity during warmer periods and faster currents during colder events.

Mid-to-late Holocene upper slope contourite deposits off Capo Vaticano (Mediterranean Sea): High-resolution record of contourite cyclicity, bottom current variability and sandy facies

Falco P.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

The upper continental slope offshore Capo Vaticano (southern Tyrrhenian Sea) is characterized by a contourite depositional system with well-developed elongated sediment drifts. This system is related to a northward paleo-bottom current, similar to the present-day modified-Levantine Intermediate Water (modified-LIW) flowing from the Messina Strait. In this work, we show results from an integrated analysis of descriptive oceanography, high-resolution seismic profiles and core data (i.e., grain size, foraminiferal assemblages, tephrostratigraphy and AMS radiocarbon dating) collected from the crest and moat sectors of drift deposits. The studied succession formed since the mid Holocene, under the action of the modified-LIW and the stratigraphic architecture indicates an upslope migration of the moat and rather stable position of the crest sector. Grain-size features recorded from two sediment cores indicate the occurrence of a succession of complete bi-gradational sand-rich contourite sequences. Sandy facies were observed both as lag deposits formed in active moat channel and as coarser intervals of bi-gradational sequences forming drift deposits close to its crest. Their occurrence would highlight that upper slope environments impacted by intermediate water masses and proximal to sandy sources may represent favorable settings for accumulation of sandy sediment. The moat sector is characterized by a more complex stratigraphic record, where either moat sedimentation or lateral deposition of finer sediment occur, suggesting that further investigation is required to better understand this complex element of contourite systems. Based on available age information, some of the bi-gradational sequences probably formed during the Dark Age Cold Period, providing example of a small-scale cyclicity of contourite deposition, likely related to short-term (possibly multicentennial scale) fluctuations of the paleo modified-LIW. According to age constraints and analysis of foraminiferal assemblages, these fluctuations were likely governed by climate variations, with a weaker activity during warmer periods and faster currents during colder events.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/288107
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