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Sedimentary sequences in the Gulf of Lion: A record of 100,000 years climatic cycles

Abstract : The wide continental shelf of the Gulf of Lion (up to 70 km) has been the object of numerous investigations since the early days of oceanography. Yet, the question of sequences duration, the mechanisms of deposition and factors implied remained unanswered. A study of a very dense grid of Very High Resolution (VHR) seismic reflection (Sparker) data associated with surficial cores both, collected by IFREMER between 1992 and 2001 on the outer shelf and upper slope offshore of Sète in the Languedoc region gives a new insight into these issues. Analysis of the 3D geometry of the sedimentary record reveals a basic depositional pattern consisting of a pair of horizontally juxtaposed and downlapping prisms. Prism PI with low angle clinoforms (<1°) lies on the upper part of the shelf and is interpreted to be prodeltaic-offshore deposits. Prism PII with steeply dipping clinoforms (4°) lies on the outer shelf between 40 and 70 km from the present day coastline and is interpreted to be littoral deposits. Results obtained from integrating lithology, palynology, micropaleontology, seismic stratigraphy, stratigraphic simulation, support the hypothesis that the basic depositional pattern records a 100 000-years glacioeustatic (interglacial/glacial) cycle. As previously suggested by Aloïsi [Aloïsi, J.C., 1986. Sur un modèle de sédimentation deltaïque: contribution à la connaissance des marges passive, Thèse de Doctorat d'Etat. Université de Perpignan, 162 pp], prisms PI corresponds to deposition at high sea level and prisms PII to deposition during low sea level at glacial maxima. Five sequences of paired prisms capped by five major erosion surfaces have been identified and modelled showing that the corresponding glacioeustatic cycles (the last five cycles at least) are recorded on the shelf of the western part of the Gulf of Lion
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - 3:24:55 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 7:00:37 PM

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Marina Rabineau, Serge Berné, D. Aslanian, J.-L. Olivet, Pierre Joseph, et al.. Sedimentary sequences in the Gulf of Lion: A record of 100,000 years climatic cycles. Marine and Petroleum Geology, Elsevier, 2005, 22 (6-7), pp.775-804. ⟨10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2005.03.010⟩. ⟨hal-00085055⟩

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