A buried paleovalley system, up to 2 km wide and exceeding 50 m in relief, made up of multiple cross-cutting depressions incised into the Lower Pleistocene bedrock, is reported from the central Adriatic coastal plain at the mouth of Biferno River. Through a multi-proxy approach that included geomorphological, stratigraphic, sedimentological and paleontological (benthic foraminifers, ostracods and molluscs) investigations, the facies architecture of distinct, superposed valley fills is reconstructed and their relative chronology established along a transverse profile with extremely high data density (average borehole spacing 75 m). Regional tectonic uplift appears as the major controlling factor of initial (Middle Pleistocene) river down-cutting and paleovalley formation. In contrast, glacio-eustatic fluctuations drove fluvial-system response over the last 120 ky, when valley incision was primarily induced by the last glacial base-level lowering and climatic forcing. A fragmented record of coastal and shallow-marine deposits is available for the lower paleovalley fill,which is penetrated by a limited borehole dataset. Multiple erosion phases probably related to the post-MIS 5e sea-level fall are reconstructed from the upper paleovalley fill, where a buried fluvial terrace succession is identified a few tens of meters below the ground surface. The flat surfaces of two buried fluvial terraces suggest longer-term, stepped relative sea-level fall, and are correlated with fluvial incisions that took place possibly at the MIS 5/4 transition and at the MIS 3/2 transition, respectively. A laterally extensive gravel body developed on the valley floor during the Last Glacial Maximum. During the ensuing latest Pleistocene–early Holocene sea-level rise the Biferno paleovalleywas transformed into an estuary.Upstreamfromthe maximumshoreline ingression, the vertical succession of well-drained floodplain, poorly-drained floodplain, and swamp deposits evidences increasing marine influence in the estuary, in response to continuing sea-level rise. The interfluves were drowned around 8 cal. ky BP,when brackish conditions developed in the study area. Decreasingmarine influence in the uppermost 15mof the paleovalley fill suggests the onset of the modern delta: when the rate of sea-level rise was overwhelmed by sediment supply, delta progradation took place.
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.11.023|
|Codice identificativo ISI:||WOS:000369561000011|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-84949895353|
|Titolo:||A late Quaternary multiple paleovalley system from the Adriatic coastal plain (Biferno River, Southern Italy)|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|