EGU21-11360, updated on 23 Jun 2023
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Quaternary Environmental Changes in the Corinth Rift Area: the IODP 381 Palynological Record

Eugenia Fatourou1, Aikaterini Kafetzidou1, Konstantinos Panagiotopoulos1,2, Fabienne Marret3, Sofia Papadopoulou1, Katerina Kouli1, and the Expedition 381 Science Team4
Eugenia Fatourou et al.
  • 1National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Natural Sciences, Geology and Geoenvironment, Greece (
  • 2Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne, Germany (
  • 3School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, UK (
  • 4

The new sedimentary record from the Gulf of Corinth (south Greece), retrieved within the IODP Exp. 381: Corinth Active Rift Development, is a new archive registering environmental and climatic variability continuously over the last one million years. The Gulf of Corinth, strategically located at the southernmost tip of the Balkan Peninsula, is a semi-enclosed basin that is sensitive to climate forcing and sea level fluctuations. The Gulf was repeatedly isolated from the Mediterranean Sea during glacial/low-stand intervals, resulting in the amplification of paleoenvironmental gradients (McNeill et al., 2019).

The “Quaternary Environmental Changes in the Corinth Rift Area: the IODP 381 palaeovegetation record (QECCoRA)” project aims to analyse how climate variability affected the development of local vegetation and marine ecosystems in response to glacial/interglacial cycles, using palynological analysis (terrestrial and aquatic palynomorphs). The main goals are: a) to study the glacial-interglacial vegetation history in the southernmost Balkan tree refugium at a millennial scale b) to constrain the timing of Quaternary extinctions of relict tree taxa, and c) to decipher the alternation between marine and isolated intervals and its impact on aquatic ecosystems and the depositional environment using the aquatic palynomorph record.

The first results of the microscopic analysis show significant shifts of the vegetation composition in response to climate variability, nevertheless the fluctuation in vegetation cover appears less pronounced. Dinoflagellate cysts show distinct alternations between marine and brackish conditions revealing changes in surface water salinity, productivity, and temperature. Ongoing palynological analysis will produce a skeleton paleoenvironmental record that will contribute to further analyses carried out within the IODP Exp. 381 Science team.


The QECCoRA project is supported by the Hellenic Foundation of Research and Innovation (H.F.R.I., Project Number: 1026)



McNeill LC, Shillington DJ, Carter GDO, Everest J, Gawthorpe R, Miller C, Phillips M, Collier R, Cvetkoska A, De Gelder G, Diz Ferreiro P, Doan M-L, Ford M, Geraga M, Gillespie J, Hemelsdael R, Herrero-Bervera E, Ismaiel M, Janikian L, Kouli K, Le Ber E, Li S, Maffione M, Mahoney C, Machlus M, Michas G, Nixon C, Oflaz SA, Omale A, Panagiotopoulos K, Pechlivanidou S, Sauer S, Seguin J, Sergiou S, Zhakarova N, Green S, High-resolution record reveals climate-driven environmental and sedimentary changes in an active rift, Scientific Reports, 9:3116, 2019,

How to cite: Fatourou, E., Kafetzidou, A., Panagiotopoulos, K., Marret, F., Papadopoulou, S., Kouli, K., and 381 Science Team, T. E.: Quaternary Environmental Changes in the Corinth Rift Area: the IODP 381 Palynological Record, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11360,, 2021.

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