Coastal and estuarine environments: sedimentology, geomorphology and geoarchaeology

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Global climate change has sharpened focus on the social and economic challenges associated with water deficits, particularly in regions where anthropogenic demands exceed supply. This modern condition was also experienced by the people of This modern condition was also experienced by the people of ancient western Asia, where chronic water shortages were accentuated by recurrent droughts.

However, human societies may react to climate change, particularly desiccation, in different ways depending on specific local conditions. Focusing on the biblical site of Tel Dan present-day Israel , we show the effects of severe precipitation decline in an environment that was well watered and fertile even in times of drought.

Such local niches of prosperity became attractive targets for predation when food resources became scarce in surrounding rain-fed areas. We propose that predation forced urban populations to either flee or adopt new subsistence strategies. Predation and abandon-ment, even if only partial, led to the poor maintenance of water networks in and around the city. Once stagnant water surrounded the area, water-borne disease proliferated.

Our study shows how climate changes can disrupt social and political structures, cause water system management to collapse, and facilitate marshland expansion. Climate Change. Supplementary Materials for Climate change and water management in the biblical city of Dan more. Tsunamis in the geological record: Making waves with a cautionary tale from the Mediterranean more. These alarming trends, underscored by the tragic events of the Indian These alarming trends, underscored by the tragic events of the Indian Ocean catastrophe, have fueled increased worldwide demands for assessments of past, present, and future coastal risks.

Nonetheless, despite its importance for hazard mitigation, discriminating between storm and tsunami deposits in the geological record is one of the most challenging and hotly contended topics in coastal geoscience. To probe this knowledge gap, we present a year reconstruction of " tsunami " variability from the Mediterranean based on stratigraphic but not historical archives and assess it in relation to climate records and reconstructions of storminess.

We elucidate evidence for previously unrecognized " tsunami megacycles " with three peaks centered on the Little Ice Age, , and cal.

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Geomorphology and Sedimentology of Estuaries, Volume 53 - 1st Edition

This timely and provocative finding is crucial in providing appropriately tailored assessments of coastal hazard risk in the Mediterranean and beyond. Palaeoenvironmental evolution of the ancient harbor of Lechaion Corinth Gulf, Greece : Were changes driven by human impacts and gradual coastal processes or catastrophic tsunamis more. Marine Geology, , pp. The temporal and spatial diffusion of early The temporal and spatial diffusion of early agriculture across Europe from the Fertile Crescent has been widely studied, but data from the Caucasian corridor are still rare.

This study shows the first evidence for the cultivation of cereals and anthropogenic fires in southern Russia, between the Black Sea and the Azov Sea, years ago. It suggests that the Caucasian corridor contributed to the spread of agricultural practices throughout the steppes of Eurasia. This study also shows the strong impact of these practices on the dynamics of local coastal and forested ecosystems. A new pile-dwelling settlement has been discovered during coring investigations on the shores of the Alepu lagoon municipality of Sozopol, department of Burgas , on the western Black Sea coast, in Bulgaria.

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A multidisciplinary methodology was applied to analyze the archaeological dataset, composed of wood piles, abundant charcoals and wood fragments, seeds, fish and shell remains, a few small bone fragments, some lithic fragments and potsherds. The piles were trimmed from oak trees and sunk into lagoonal muds, and currently lie 5. It highlights a wooden building at the edge of Alepu palaeo-lagoon.

Charcoal remains confirm the use of oak tree as a dominant timber resource, consistent with pollen data for this period. Palaeo-botanic remains highlight gathering activities and the consumption of wild grapes, raspberries and figs. The herbaceous assemblage evokes deforestation activities.

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Five radiocarbon dates constrain the age of the site to between and cal. The Alepu piles-dwelling settlement sheds new light on the very beginning of the Early Bronze Age in coastal Bulgaria. Adding fresh information to the local archaeological record, it completes the well-discussed issue of the protohistoric submerged settlements, revealing in turn the economic strategies of the societies at the end of the transitional period. Considerations about geomorphological settings of these sites underline the evolution of the regional settlement patterns, as well as the importance of lagoonal locations.

Lagoon contexts not only offer abundant fish resources, as attested by our data from Alepu, but also good conditions for anchorage. These sites were later drowned, preserved and buried following the relative rise of the Black Sea level. Sarti G. Magdala harbour sedimentation Sea of Galilee, Israel , from natural to anthropogenic control.

Three sedimentary sequences, a few decimeters thick, reflect the recent palaeoenvironmental evolution of the Magdala area. These include: 1 a pre-harbour foundation sequence; 2 a harbour sequence; and 3 a harbour aban- donment sequence. Above the natural sandy beachface deposits, subject to wave reworking pre-harbour facies , the abrupt transition to dark silty sands with high metal concentrations reveals the onset of an anthropogenic control on coastal sedimentation through the construction of harbour structures harbour facies.

The overlying, vertically stacked sand and gravel beach deposits post-harbour facies , record harbour siltation and abandonment at the transition from the Middle to the Late Roman period e AD. Journal Name: Quaternary international , Geoarchaeology , Sequence Stratigraphy , Ports and Harbours , and Lacustrine sedimentology and lake sediment stratigraphy. View on sciencedirect. Tracking shoreline evolution in central Cyclades Greece using beachrocks more.

Beachrocks represent a Beachrocks represent a significant paleo-environmental proxy because they can record both the vertical and the horizontal evolution of the shoreline.

Morphodynamics and Sediment Flux in the Blyth Estuary, Suffolk, UK

In this paper, we used submerged beachrocks from Paros and Naxos Islands Aegean Sea, Greece to reconstruct the shoreline modification and provide new insights on the RSL evolution in central Cyclades. Paros and Naxos Islands are of great importance in terms of archaeological evidence of coastal occupation. However, the evolution of their coastlines was seldom explored. In this study, we coupled detailed underwater surveys, analysis of aerial photogrammetry, microstratigraphic analysis and luminescence dating to study beachrock outcrops found down to about 6 m below the present sea-level.

We, then, spatially and chronologically constrained some major palaeogeographical changes of a number of coastal sectors of the two islands. Furthermore, the multiple analyses of beachrocks, sediment coring and archaeological data suggested that RSL rose by at least 3. Stanica A. The Danube delta is one of the few large deltas in the world the evolution of which has involved numerous and varied episodes within a complex framework of interactivity between river sediment supply, allochthonous sediments supplied by The Danube delta is one of the few large deltas in the world the evolution of which has involved numerous and varied episodes within a complex framework of interactivity between river sediment supply, allochthonous sediments supplied by longshore currents, marine dispersing forces, vertical movements neotectonics, sediment compaction and sea level.

The resulting complex morphology comprises diversified landscapes varying from labyrinthic net of channels and lakes fluvial delta to massive tracts of monotonous reed marshes, large lagoons divided by barriers, or beach-ridge plains accommodating large transgressive dunefields maritime delta. Whilst previous studies have focused on various sectors of the Danube delta, the current paper proposes for the first time an integral reconstruction of delta evolution based on existing and new sedimentological and morphological analyses and absolute ages AMS 14 C and OSL , enabling a comprehensive synthesis in terms of both evolutionary phases and growth patterns.

A chronological framework was established for all the deltaic lobes and beach-ridge plains, highlighting the relationship between formation timespan, growth rates, and the resultant morphology. This work unveils the early stage of delta formation, including the reconstruction of delta front advancement into Danube Bay Old Danube lobe: prior to 7.

The original fluvial delta plain topography is now buried at a depth of 4—6 m depth below the present topography representing the current stage of fluvial aggradation , as a result of subsidence and sea-level rise.


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Regarding the maritime delta, six large open-coast lobes developed in the last six millennia, of which four were formed by the Sf. Gheorghe branch, attesting the long uninterrupted activity of this branch, whereas the other two were created respectively by the Sulina and the Chilia branches. The evolution of each lobe is derived from successive chronological shoreline positions and discussed in relation with changes in Danube discharge.

Special attention has been paid to their growth stages and progradation rates. Gheorghe branch that formed successive open-coast lobes between 2. Additionally, we discuss the effects of modern anthropogenically-driven fluvial sediment reduction on the morphology and morphodynamics of the active lobes of the Danube. Geoarchaeology of Portus Mareoticus Ancient Alexandrias lake harbour more. This dual waterfront was praised by the ancient geographer Strabo in the first century BCE, because This dual waterfront was praised by the ancient geographer Strabo in the first century BCE, because its geomorphological configuration opened Alexandria to Mediterranean trade, and also the Nile delta and Egypt.

While the city's maritime palaeogeography has been widely described and studied, Alexandria's lacustrine waterfront has largely been neglected and little is known about its palaeo-geography and archaeology. Here we report the chronostratigraphy of the southern edge of the modern city. Bio-sedimentological analyses of sediment archives allow us to reconstruct the evolution of the depositional environments and palaeogeographies for parts of ancient Alexandria's lacustrine waterfront.

The chronological framework spans the last years. By marrying our data with ancient maps and historical sources, we propose a location for Portus Mareoticus.


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  • The lake's geomorphology suggests the presence of three ancient jetties, perpendicular to the shoreline and several hundreds meters long. The occupation of the investigated area began at the end of the first century BCE, linked to Roman domination and probably ended during late Roman times.

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    The waterfront was then disconnected from the city during the 9th century CE, due to the desiccation of Maryut Lake, concomitant with the drying-up of the Canopic branch. Alexandria canal subsequently became the sole waterway linking the city to the Nile. The most western part of the canal, which extended freshwater supply and fluvial navigation down to the western marine harbour of Alexandria, was completed in the 16th century, probably in relation to the development of the marine harbours at the beginning of the Ottoman period.

    Our research sheds new light on the topography of ancient Alexandria. Numerical approach to the study of coastal boulders: The case of Martigues, Marseille, France more. Numerical approach to the study of coastal boulders: The case of Martigues, Marseille, France. Piscitelli, M.

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    Milella, J. Hyppolite, M. Shah-Hosseini, C. Morhange, G. Mastronuzzi in Quaternary International The coastal area extending east of the city of Martigues, between the bays of Bonnieu and that of Chariot, is characterized by an alternation of gently sloping rocky coast and 5 m high cliffs composed of Miocene limestone.

    The foot of the cliff is marked by a well developed notch and a discontinuous wave-cut platform; at its base, the sea bottom reaches a maximum depth of about 4. The emerged area shows boulders placed up to 10 m inland of the coastline at around 2 m above s. A geomorphological survey was conducted by means of a Terrestrial Laser Scanner to estimate boulder sizes.