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Stratigraphic architecture of the Plio-Pleistocene infill of the Corinth Rift: Implications for its structural evolution

Abstract : An integrated study of the stratigraphy, structure, sedimentology, and geomorphology of the Akrata­Derveni region (southern coast of the Gulf of Corinth, Greece) forms the basis for a tectono-stratigraphic model for the evolution of the Plio-Pleistocene central Corinth Rift. The syn-rift sediments exposed on the uplifted southern coast of the Gulf of Corinth comprise three stratigraphic groups. Maximum total thickness of the syn-rift sediments can reach 2800 m in the middle of the studied area. The Lower Group is made of fluvio-lacustrine deposits. The Middle Group corresponds to thick alluvial fan conglomerates and their equivalent Gilbert-type fan deltas that built toward the north. The Upper Group is composed of uplifted terrace deposits, slope breccias and small Gilbert-type deltas. These groups have been subdivided into informal formations and depositional systems. Restoration of the stratigraphic architecture along a N­S transect provides a linked structural and depositional model for this part of the rift. Reconstruction of the latest phases of uplift is based on a study of geomorphological features. Evolutionary phases include, (1) an overall increase in accommodation space during deposition of the Lower and Middle Groups followed by (2) a drastic decrease in accommodation space during deposition of the Upper Group. Sedimentary signals indicate that most of the major normal faults were active during deposition of the Lower Group. The depocentre was located in the middle part of the study area and paleocurrents were predominantly toward the ENE. The main depositional system shifted south at the onset of deposition of the Middle Group, recording a widening and deepening of the rift. This major event also corresponds to a change in paleocurrent direction to a clear northward polarity. The southernmost border fault, the Killini Fault, was sealed during deposition of the Middle Group. A northward migration of fault activity was associated with northward progradation of giant Gilbert-type fan deltas that record water depths up to 500 m. Finally, the fan delta system was abandoned as progressive tilting to the south and uplift of the margin induced a reversal of the drainage system with the development of an endorheic depression. Sediment supply to the basin thus decreased and a forced regression took place during deposition of the Upper Group recording a northward shift of more than 5 km and a 600 m relative sea-level drop. As no major eustatic sea-level falls of such amplitude are documented during the Pleistocene, the uplift is linked to regional tectonics. Uplift and fault reactivation gave the present day configuration of the southern coast of the Gulf.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 17, 2007 - 2:34:18 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 3:10:07 PM

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Sébastien Rohais, R. Eschard, Mary Ford, François Guillocheau, Isabelle Moretti. Stratigraphic architecture of the Plio-Pleistocene infill of the Corinth Rift: Implications for its structural evolution. Tectonophysics, Elsevier, 2007, 440 (1-4), pp.5-28. ⟨10.1016/j.tecto.2006.11.006⟩. ⟨insu-00180013⟩

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