EGU21-14997, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Erosional landforms and biological structures in tectonically stable areas in the Mediterranean basin

Valeria Vaccher1, Stefano Furlani1, Sara Biolchi1, Chiara Boccali1, Alice Busetti1, Fabrizio Antonioli2, Matteo Vacchi3, Fiorenza Torricella3, Mauro Agate4, Francesco Caldareri4, Renato Chemello4, Valeria Lo Presti5, Fabio Canziani5, Silas Dean6, Egidio Trainito7, Augusto Navone7, Eleonora de Sabata8, Marco Anzidei9, Joanna Causon Deguara10, Ritienne Gauci10, and the John A. Schembri (10), Paolo Orrù (11), Marco Taviani (12), Elisa Dal Bo (13), Elisa Venturini (14)*
Valeria Vaccher et al.
  • 1Department of Mathematics and Geosciences,University of Trieste, Italy
  • 2Associated researcher INGV, Roma, Italy
  • 3Department of Earth Science, University of Pisa, Italy
  • 4Department of Earth and Marine Science, University of Palermo, Italy
  • 5Freelance geologist, Italy
  • 6Department of Marine Geosciences, University of Haifa, Israel
  • 7Consultant, AMP Tavolara, Italy
  • 8MedSharks, Italy
  • 9Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, INGV, Rome, Italy
  • 10Department of Geography, University of Malta, Malta
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

The Mediterranean basin displays a variety of neotectonics scenarios leading to positive or negative vertical displacement, which change the vertical position of former coastlines. As a result, the best locations to evaluate former sea levels and validate sea-level models are tectonically stable areas. There are a number of coastal areas considered to be stable based on the elevation of paleo sea-level markers, the absence of historical seismicity, and by their position far from major Mediterranean faults. We report here the results of swim surveys carried out at such locations following the Geoswim approach described by Furlani (2020) in nine coastal sectors of the central Mediterranean Sea (Egadi Island - Marettimo, Favignana, Levanzo, Gaeta Promontory, Circeo Promontory, North Sardinia - Razzoli, Budelli, Santa Maria, NW Sardinia – Capocaccia, Maddalena Archipelago, Tavolara Island, East of Malta - Ahrax Point, Bugibba-Qawra, Delimara, Addura, Palermo, Ansedonia Promontory). All the sites are considered to be tectonically stable, as validated by the elevation of sea-level indicators. In fact, modern and MIS5.5 (last interglacial) m.s.l. altitudes fit well with accepted figures based upon field data and model projections. Starting from precise morphometric parameters such as the size of tidal notches and indicative landforms and biological structures, we have developed a procedure that integrates multiple geomorphological and biological descriptors applicable to the vast spectrum of locally diverse coastal situations occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. We took detailed measurements of features such as modern and MIS5.5 tidal notches at 146 sites in all the areas, the absence of modern tidal notch at Circeo promontory, shore platforms, and MIS5.5 marine terraces at Egadi islands, Malta, and Palermo. Biological structures were also measured. In particular, vermetid platforms at Egadi, Palermo and Malta. The morphometric characteristics of these indicators depend on 1) local geological and structural constraints, 2) local geomorphotypes, 3) climate, sea, and weather conditions that affect geomorphic and biological processes, and 4) the sea level change history.

John A. Schembri (10), Paolo Orrù (11), Marco Taviani (12), Elisa Dal Bo (13), Elisa Venturini (14):

(11) Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche e Geologiche, University of Cagliari (12) ISMAR-CNR, Bologna, Italy (13) EGS international Ltd., Bordon, UK (14) National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics, OGS, Trieste, Italy

How to cite: Vaccher, V., Furlani, S., Biolchi, S., Boccali, C., Busetti, A., Antonioli, F., Vacchi, M., Torricella, F., Agate, M., Caldareri, F., Chemello, R., Lo Presti, V., Canziani, F., Dean, S., Trainito, E., Navone, A., de Sabata, E., Anzidei, M., Causon Deguara, J., and Gauci, R. and the John A. Schembri (10), Paolo Orrù (11), Marco Taviani (12), Elisa Dal Bo (13), Elisa Venturini (14): Erosional landforms and biological structures in tectonically stable areas in the Mediterranean basin, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14997,, 2021.