Deformed cross-stratified deposits in the Early Pleistocene tidally-dominated Catanzaro strait-fill succession, Calabrian Arc (Southern Italy): Triggering mechanisms and environmental significance

Domenico Chiarella, Massimo Moretti, Sergio G. Longhitano , Francesco Muto

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The Early-Pleistocene Catanzaro strait-fill succession consists of large-scale tidal sets, accumulated in a tectonically confined basin during a phase of rapid relative sea-level rise. It crops out mainly in the present-day Catanzaro Trough where numerous field sections supported the characterization of the vertical and lateral facies variations and the documentation of a variety of soft-sediment deformation structures, exposed throughout their vertical and lateral extents. The soft-sediment deformation structures (SSDS) are the result of liquefaction and fluidization processes that deformed cross-laminations and other primary structures into folds, fluid-escape structures, and structureless expanses. Three different groups of SSDS have been documented in the cross-stratified deposits of the Catanzaro strait. The detailed description of these soft-sediment deformation structures in a depositional context established by facies analysis enables interpretation in terms of possible trigger mechanisms. Consistent relationships between the occurrence of distinctive SSDS and specific tidally dominated facies have been established, indicating a probable autogenic origin for the soft-sediment deformations. Liquefaction and fluidization features are interpreted as the result of increases in water pore-pressure, induced by overloading. In particular, two types of overloading agents are hypothesized, which affect the lee and stoss sides of the migrating dunes in distinct events, and inducing the deformation of foreset laminae or sets of cross-strata, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277–289
Number of pages13
JournalSedimentary Geology
Early online date11 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

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