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Authors: Palyvos, N.* 
Lemeille, F.* 
Sorel, D.* 
Pantosti, D.* 
Pavlopoulos, K.* 
Title: Using geomorphic and biological indicators of coastal uplift for the evaluation of paleoseismicity and
Journal: Geomorphology 
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2007
DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2007.07.010
Keywords: Coastal fault zone
Shore platforms
Holocene shorelines
Coastal uplift
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.01. Earthquake geology and paleoseismology 
Abstract: The westernmost part of the Gulf of Corinth (Greece) is an area of very fast extension (~15 mm/yr according to geodetic measurements) and active normal faulting, accompanied by intense coastal uplift and high seismicity. This study presents geomorphic and biological evidence of Holocene coastal uplift at the western extremity of the Gulf, where such evidence was previously unknown. Narrow shore platforms (benches) and rare notches occur mainly on Holocene littoral conglomerates of uplifting small fan deltas. They are perhaps the only primary paleoseismic evidence likely to provide information on earthquake recurrence at coastal faults in the specific part of the Rift system, whereas dated marine fauna can provide constraints on average Holocene coastal uplift rate. The types of geomorphic and biological evidence identified are not ideal, and there are limitations and pitfalls involved in their evaluation. In a first approach, 5 uplifted paleoshorelines may be indentified, at 0.4- 0.7, 1.0-1.3, 1.4-1.7, 2.0-2.3 and 2.8-3.4 m a.m.s.l. They probably formed after 1728 or 2250 Cal. B.P. (depending on the marine reservoir correction used in the calibration of measured radiocarbon ages). A most conservative estimate for the average coastal uplift rate during the Late Holocene is 1.6 or 1.9 mm/yr minimum (with different amounts of reservoir correction). Part of the obtained radiocarbon ages of Lithophaga sp. allows for much higher Holocene uplift rates, of the order of 3-4 mm/yr, which cannot be discarded given that similar figures exist in the bibliography on Holocene and Pleistocene uplift at neighbouring areas. They should best be cross-checked by further studies though. That the identified paleoshoreline record corresponds to episodes of coastal uplift only, cannot be demonstrated beyond all doubt by independent evidence, but it appears the most likely interpretation, given the geological and active-tectonic context and, what is known about eustatic sea-level fluctuations in the Mediterranean. Proving that the documented uplifts were abrupt (i.e., arguably coseismic), is equally difficult, but reasonably expected and rather probable. Five earthquakes in the last ca. 2000 yrs on the coastal fault zone responsible for the uplift, compare well with historical seismicity and the results of recent on-fault paleoseismological studies at the nearby Eliki fault zone. Exact amounts of coseismic uplift cannot be determined precisely, unless the rate of uniform ("regional") non-seismic uplift of Northern Peloponnesus at the specific part of the Corinth Rift is somehow constrained.
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