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Depositional model and stratigraphic architecture of rift climax Gilbert-type fan deltas (Gulf of Corinth, Greece)

Abstract : Facies, depositional model and stratigraphic architecture of Pleistocene giant Gilbert-type fan deltas are presented, based on outcrop data from the Derveni­Akrata region along the southern coast of the Gulf of Corinth, Greece. The common tripartite consisting of topset, foreset and bottomset [Gilbert, G.K., 1885. The topographic features of lake shores: Washington, D.C., United States Geol. Survey, 5th Annual Report, 69­123.] has been identified, as well as the most distal environment consisting of turbidites, and is organised in a repetitive pattern of four main systems tracts showing a clear facies and volumetric partitioning. The first systems tract (ST1) is characterised by the lack of topset beds and the development of a by-pass surface instead, thick foresets and bottomset beds, and thick well-developed turbiditic systems. This systems tract (ST1) is organised in an overall progradational pattern. The second systems tract (ST2) is characterised by a thin topset and almost no foreset equivalent. This systems tract is not always well-preserved and is organised in an overall retrograding trend with a landward shift in the position of the offlap break. The offshore is characterised by massive sandy turbidites. The third systems tract (ST3) is characterised by small-scale deltas prograding above the staked topsets of the giant Gilbert-type fan delta. Those small Gilbert-type fan deltas are generally organised in a pure progradation evolving to an aggradational­progradational pattern. In the distal setting of those small Gilbert-type fan deltas, almost no deposits are preserved on the remaining topography of the previous Gilbert-type fan delta. The fourth systems tract (ST4) is characterised by continuous vertically aggrading topsets that laterally pass into aggrading and prograding foresets. Bottomsets and distal turbiditic systems are starved. This fourth systems tract (ST4) is organised in an overall aggrading trend. These giant Gilbert-type fan deltas correspond to the Middle Group of the Corinth Rift infill and their stratigraphic development was strongly influenced by evolving rift structure. They record the migration of the depocenter from the rift shoulder to the rift axis in four main sequences from ca. 1.5 to 0.7 Ma, related to the migration of fault activity. It is worth noting that the maximum paleobathymetry was recorded during the final stage of the progradation of the Middle Group, suggesting that the rift climax was diachronous at the scale of the entire basin. The rapid (< 1 Ma) structural and sedimentological evolution, the migration of fault activity as well as the youth of the Corinth Rift, are probably exceptional factors allowing the characterisation of such diachronism.
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Sébastien Rohais, R. Eschard, François Guillocheau. Depositional model and stratigraphic architecture of rift climax Gilbert-type fan deltas (Gulf of Corinth, Greece). Sedimentary Geology, Elsevier, 2008, 210 (3-4), pp.132-145. ⟨10.1016/j.sedgeo.2008.08.001⟩. ⟨insu-00348005⟩

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