Assessment of Black Sea water-level fluctuations since the Last Glacial Maximum

G. Lericolais, F. Guichard, C. Morigi, I. Popescu, C. Bulois, H. Gillet, W.B.F. Ryan

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in bookResearchpeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper presents geophysical and core data obtained from several marine geology surveys carried out in the western Black Sea. These data provide a solid record of water-level fluctuation during the Last Glacial Maximum in the Black Sea. A Last Glacial Maximum lowstand wedge evidenced at the shelf edge in Romania,Bulgaria, and Turkey represents the starting point of this record. Then, a fi rst transgressive system is identifi ed as the Danube prodelta built under ∼40 m of water depth. The related rise in water level is interpreted to have been caused by an increase in water provided to the Black Sea by the melting of the ice after 18,000 yr B.P., drained by the largest European rivers (Danube, Dnieper, Dniester). Subsequently, the Black Sea lacustrine shelf deposits formed a signifi cant basinward-prograding wedge system, interpreted as forced regression system tracts. On top of these prograding sequences, there is a set of sand dunes that delineates a wave-cut terrace-like feature around the isobath -100 m. The upper part of the last prograding sequence is incised by anastomosed channels that end in the Danube (Viteaz) canyon, which are also built on the lacustrine prograding wedge. Overlying this succession, there is a shelfwide unconformity visible in very high-resolution seismic-refl ection profi les and present all over the shelf. A uniform drape of marine sediment above the unconformity is present all over the continental shelf with practically the same thickness over nearby elevations and depressions. This mud drape represents the last stage of the Black Sea water-level fluctuation and is set after the reconnection of this basin with the Mediterranean Sea.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationGeology and geoarchaeology of the Black Sea region: Beyond the flood hypothesis
    EditorsIlya V. Buynevich, Valentina Yanko-Hombach, Allan S. Gilbert, Ronald E. Martin
    Place of PublicationBoulder, Colorado
    PublisherGeological Society of America
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Print)978-0-8137-2473-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Publication series

    SeriesGSA Special Papers

    Programme Area

    • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources


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