The Western Adriatic shelf clinoform: energy-limited bottomset

Type Article
Date 2007-02
Language English
Author(s) Cattaneo AntonioORCID1, Trincardi Fabio1, Asioli Alessandra2, Correggiari Annamaria1
Affiliation(s) 1 : ISMAR, CNR, I-40129 Bologna, Italy.
2 : IGG, CNR, I-35137 Padua, Italy.
Source Continental Shelf Research (0278-4343) (Elsevier), 2007-02 , Vol. 27 , N. 3-4 , P. 506-525
DOI 10.1016/j.csr.2006.11.013
WOS© Times Cited 120
Keyword(s) Bottom currents, Accommodation, Regime model, Bottomset, Clinoform, Adriatic
Abstract Clinoforms on modern shelves and slopes, as well as in ancient rock records, are widely recognized as a fundamental building element of continental margin growth. Regardless of their dominant lithology, clinoforms are composed of three geometric elements: topset, foreset and bottomset. Traditionally, much emphasis in the study of clinoforms was put on the geometry of the topset, viewed as the most energetic portion of a clinoform and studied to discern if aggradation was active rather than erosional truncation, and on the foreset, the area with the highest sediment accumulation rates. Here we focus on the factors forcing clinoforms to taper out and on the inferred mechanisms for bottomset creation. We base our analysis on muddy shelf clinoforms, a particular class of clinoforms that is typical of low-gradient settings and is characterized by a substantial component of shore-parallel sediment transport.

This paper is based on a large dataset of CHIRP-sonar profiles, bathymetric and isopach maps of the Late Holocene clinoform on the Adriatic shelf, where integrated stratigraphic studies from sediment cores allow a very high (in some cases century-scale) chronological resolution. Knowledge on the dominant oceanographic regime affecting sediment dispersal and, ultimately, clinoform development, has been recently refined during the EuroSTRATAFORM collaboration. Muddy clinoforms are markedly three-dimensional features that cannot be entirely understood solely on two-dimensional shore normal sections. We suggest that this class of clinoform is advection dominated and that an increase in the energy regime at the toe of the foreset may prevent sediment from reaching beyond the transition to the bottomset region.

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