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Discovery of Messinian canyons and new seismic stratigraphic model, offshore Provence (SE France): Implications for the hydrographic network reconstruction

Abstract : The interpretation of high-resolution 2D marine seismic profiles together with the analysis of sea-bottom cores allowed a stratigraphic and structural framework of the Provence continental shelf to be proposed. The integration of onshore and offshore stratigraphy, structure and geomorphology provided new insights into Messinian paleotopography and paleohydrography. A geological map of the offshore Provence continental shelf, isobath map of the base Plio-Quaternary surface are presented for the first time in this area. The base Plio-Quaternary surface is a polyphased unconformity that is composed of deep canyons developed by fluvial erosion during the Messinian event, and wave-cut surfaces formed during post-Messinian transgressions. The study evidenced a deep, E-W-trending canyon (Bandol canyon) connected to the head of the Cassidaigne canyon, and filled with up to 600 m-thick Plio-Quaternary deposits. The development of canyons on the Provence margin during the Messinian event was dominantly controlled by the lithology and structure of pre-Messinian formations. A map of the Messinian paleo-drainage network is proposed to explain the presence of deep canyons in the Eastern area and the lack of incision in the Western area. An underground karst drainage scheme is proposed, linked with the current submarine Port-Miou spring.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 11:09:07 AM
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Aurélie Tassy, F. Fournier, Philippe Munch, J. Borgomano, Isabelle Thinon, et al.. Discovery of Messinian canyons and new seismic stratigraphic model, offshore Provence (SE France): Implications for the hydrographic network reconstruction. Marine and Petroleum Geology, Elsevier, 2014, 57, pp.25-50. ⟨10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2014.05.001⟩. ⟨insu-01009592⟩

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