Sea-level control on the connection between shelf-edge deltas and the Bourcart canyon head (western Mediterranean) during the last glacial/interglacial cycle

Type Article
Date 2015-12
Language English
Author(s) Mauffrey M. A.1, Berne Serge1, Jouet Gwenael2, Giresse P.1, Gaudin M.3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Perpignan, Lab CEFREM, CNRS, UMR 5110, F-66860 Perpignan, France.
2 : IFREMER, Geosci Marines, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
3 : TullowOil, Oslo, Norway.
Source Marine Geology (0025-3227) (Elsevier Science Bv), 2015-12 , Vol. 370 , P. 1-19
DOI 10.1016/j.margeo.2015.09.010
WOS© Times Cited 15
Keyword(s) Submarine canyon, Confined channel-levee systems, Mass transport deposits, Bond cycles, Sea level
Abstract A dense grid of high- and very high resolution seismic data, together with piston cores and borehole data providing time constraints, enables us to reconstruct the history of the Bourcart canyon head in the western Mediterranean Sea during the last glacial/interglacial cycle. The canyon fill is composed of confined channel–levee systems fed by a series of successively active shelf fluvial systems, originating from the west and north. Most of the preserved infill corresponds to the interval between Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 and the early deglacial (19 cal ka BP). Its deposition was strongly controlled by a relative sea level that impacted the direct fluvial/canyon connection. During a period of around 100 kyr between MIS 6 and MIS 2, the canyon “prograded” by about 3 km. More precisely, several parasequences can be identified within the canyon fill. They correspond to forced-regressed parasequences (linked to punctuated sea-level falls) topped by a progradational-aggradational parasequence (linked to a hypothetical 19-ka meltwater pulse (MWP)). The bounding surfaces between forced-regressed parasequences are condensed intervals formed during intervals of relative sediment starvation due to flooding episodes. The meandering pattern of the axial incision visible within the canyon head, which can be traced landward up to the Agly paleo-river, is interpreted as the result of hyperpycnal flows initiated in the river mouth in a context of increased rainfall and mountain glacier flushing during the early deglacial.
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