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Massimo Zecchin, National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics, Italy
Silvia Ceramicola, National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics, Italy
Mauro Caffau, National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics, Italy
Oliviero Candoni, National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics, Italy
Daniel Praeg, National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics, Italy
Marianne Coste, National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics, Italy
A middle Pleistocene outcrop analogue of submarine canyon fill along the Ionian side of Calabria (southern Italy): depositional processes and relationships with the modern submarine canyons

The Crotone Basin is a forearc basin located on the Ionian side of the Calabrian Arc (southern Italy) that was active from Serravallian to middle Pleistocene. In the northern sector of the basin, behind the modern Neto delta north of the town of Crotone, there crops out a coarse-grained canyon fill succession (the Serra Mulara Formation) of middle Pleistocene age. The canyon fill is up to 178 m thick and consists of a NW-SE elongated body (4.25 km long and up to 1.5 km wide) laterally confined by a deep-water succession of clays and silts. The lower part of the canyon fill is dominated by gravelly to sandy density-flow deposits containing abundant bivalve and gastropod fragments, passing upwards into a interval composed of metre- to decimetre-scale density-flow deposits forming sandstone-mudstone couplets. Sandstone deposits are mostly structureless and planar laminated, while the clayey layers record hemipelagic deposition during quieter phases. This interval is overlain by another composed of thicker, structureless sandstones alternating with layers of interlaminated mudstones and sandstones, which contain leaf remnants and freshwater ostracods and can be directly linked to river floods. The canyon fill is overlain by gravelly to sandy continental deposits recording a later stage of emergence. Overall, the Serra Mulara Formation records a relative sea-level rise related to the transition from MIS 12 to MIS 11, followed by a generalized relative sea-level lowering mostly related to regional uplift. The Serra Mulara Formation is the only known example of outcropping submarine canyon fill along the Ionian side of Calabria and is not connected to the present-day network of submarine canyons. However, seismic profiles available on the Neto alluvial plain and off the modern coast suggest that all canyons post-date the lower Pleistocene. We propose that the Serra Mulara canyon records a response to middle Pleistocene tectonic events that culminated in the uplift of Calabria, resulting in the incision, infill and beheading of a canyon system that has continued to develop in the adjacent offshore. The Serra Mulara canyon is similar in size to the largest active submarine canyons found along the Ionian margin of Calabria, and may be profitably used as an outcrop analogue to study both erosional and depositional processes acting within these large features.

Theme 1: Canyon processes in the space-time continuum (formation, evolution, circulation)
Poster Presentation
submarine, canyon, uplift, outcrop, fill, analogue, Calabria, Italy