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Middle Pleistocene glaciation, alluvial fan development and sea-level changes in the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Adamson, K and Woodward, JC and Hughes, PD and Giglio, F and Del Bianco, F (2016) Middle Pleistocene glaciation, alluvial fan development and sea-level changes in the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro. In: Quaternary Glaciation in the Mediterranean Mountains. Geological Society of London. ISBN 9781862397477

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Abstract

A coarse-grained alluvial fan at Lipci in the Bay of Kotor, western Montenegro, was deposited in the Middle Pleistocene by a high-energy, steep gradient proglacial stream draining an outlet glacier on the Orjen massif. The fan apex is currently about 50 m above sea-level, but the majority (c. 60%) of this landform now lies offshore. Field mapping, sedimentological analysis and uranium-series dating were combined with a marine bathymetric survey and seismic profiling to explore the morphology and history of the entire fan complex. The Lipci fan was deposited on the margin of a large polje downstream of moraines that formed during the Middle Pleistocene (Marine Isotope Stage 12). The sea-level may have been more than 120 m lower than present during the glacial stages of the Middle Pleistocene. The sediments on the terrestrial portion of the fan are strongly cemented by secondary calcite and the oldest uranium-series ages show that the fan was deposited before 320 ka. These ages are consistent with a larger uranium-series dataset (n=39) from other glacial and glacio-fluvial formations surrounding Mount Orjen. Seismic profiling of the submerged portion of the fan in the Bay of Kotor shows well-preserved palaeochannels with inset terraces. The Lipci fan is unusual because even its distal segments are well preserved after exposure to multiple post-Marine Isotope Stage 12 regression–transgression cycles. This is probably due to the strong cementation of the fan sediments and its sheltered location in the Bay of Kotor.

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