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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/esurf-2016-62
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
21 Dec 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf).
Distinct phases of eustatism and tectonics control the late Quaternary landscape evolution at the southern coastline of Crete
Vasiliki Mouslopoulou1, John Begg2, Alexander Fülling3, Daniel Moraetis4, Panagiotis Partsinevelos5, and Onno Oncken1 1GeoForschungsZentrum, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
2GNS Science, PO Box 30368, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
3Humboldt University of Berlin, 12489 Berlin, Germany
4Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 36, PC 123, Muscat, Oman
5Technical University of Crete, 73100 Chania, Greece
Abstract. The extent to which climate, eustacy and tectonics interact to shape the late Quaternary landscape is poorly known. Alluvial fans often provide useful indexes that allow decoding the information recorded on complex coastal landscapes, such as those of Eastern Mediterranean. In this paper we analyse and date (using optically stimulated luminescence – OSL) a double alluvial-fan system in Crete, an island straddling the forearc of the Hellenic subduction margin, in order to constrain the timing of, and quantify the contributing factors to, its landscape evolution. The studied alluvial system is unique because each of its two juxtaposed fans records individual phases of alluvial and marine incision, providing, thus, unprecedented resolution in the formation and evolution of its landscape. Specifically, our analysis shows that the fan sequence at Domata developed during the last glaciation (Marine Isotope Stage 3; 57–29 kyr) due to five distinct stages of marine transgressions and regressions and associated river incision, as a response to climatic changes and tectonic uplift at rates of ~ 2.2 mm/yr. Comparison of our results with published tectonic uplift rates from Crete shows, however, that vertical movement on Crete was minimal during 20–50 kyr BP and mot uplift was accrued during the last 20 kyr. This implies that eustacy and tectonism impacted on the landscape at Domata over mainly distinct time-intervals (e.g. sequentially and not synchronously), forming and preserving the coastal landforms, respectively.

Citation: Mouslopoulou, V., Begg, J., Fülling, A., Moraetis, D., Partsinevelos, P., and Oncken, O.: Distinct phases of eustatism and tectonics control the late Quaternary landscape evolution at the southern coastline of Crete, Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss., doi:10.5194/esurf-2016-62, in review, 2016.
Vasiliki Mouslopoulou et al.
Vasiliki Mouslopoulou et al.
Vasiliki Mouslopoulou et al.

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Short summary
A double coastal alluvial-fan system on Crete is used as proxy for landscape evolution. Each juxtaposed fan records individual phases of alluvial and marine incision, providing unprecedented resolution in the formation and evolution of its landscape. The fan sequence developed during MIS 3 due to sea-level fluctuations but it was preserved due to tectonic uplift during the subsequent 20 000 years. Thus, eustacy and tectonics were important in fan evolution, but over distinct time-intervals.
A double coastal alluvial-fan system on Crete is used as proxy for landscape evolution. Each...
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