The sedimentary features of the inner-middle shelf of the strait of Bonifacio (western Mediterranean) were analyzed to evaluate the relationship between the production and transport of biogenic carbonate sediments and the basin morphology and hydrodynamics. A three-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling was performed in order to simulate the influence of waves and currents at seabed level. Superficial sediments were collected at depths ranging from 5 to 80 m and were analyzed for grain size, mineralogical composition and skeletal carbonate composition. Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows border the coasts in a narrow strip on both sides of the strait down to a depth of 40 m. At greater depths, the seabed is characterized by the presence of plateaus and ridges which are controlled by outcropping bedrock morphology. Waves and seabed currents are driven by the prevailing northwest and northeast winds. For both wind directions, higher values for the seabed current velocity, associated with wind-storm events, were detected in shallower sectors and along an east west-oriented belt that connects the western Mediterranean and the Tyrrhenian Seas. The sediments range from sand to gravel and show a mixed biogenic carbonate/siliciclastic composition. This is due to the carbonate production associated with benthic ecosystems and the mixing of modern carbonate with relict sediments. Biogenic gravelly sands were found in association with Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows and extended down to the circalittoral zone outside the deeper boundary of the meadows. This sedimentary facies was derived from the modern carbonate production associated with the P. oceanica ecosystem. Sediments collected outside the deeper limit of the meadows were identified as sediments deposited during the stand of the meadows at a deeper level during lower sea level conditions. Maerl (free-living calcareous red algae) beds are the main carbonate factory and are mainly located at the top of the rocky plateaus (at similar to 50-55 m) formed by the outcropping of the bedrock. Downward, the increased currents at the seabed level in the east west-oriented belt, which connects the western Mediterranean and the Tyrrhenian Seas, limit the extension of this carbonate factory. This results in a mixed sedimentary facies composed of biogenic carbonate and relict siliciclastic sandy gravel. Compared to other Mediterranean shelves, the strait of Bonifacio is characterized by a distinct oceanographic setting. This is due to the connection between two basins. The currents at the seabed play a crucial role in controlling the distribution of the carbonate factories.

Carbonate sedimentation and hydrodynamic pattern on a modern temperate shelf: The strait of Bonifacio (western Mediterranean)

DEMURO, SANDRO;BATZELLA, TIZIANA;
2011-01-01

Abstract

The sedimentary features of the inner-middle shelf of the strait of Bonifacio (western Mediterranean) were analyzed to evaluate the relationship between the production and transport of biogenic carbonate sediments and the basin morphology and hydrodynamics. A three-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling was performed in order to simulate the influence of waves and currents at seabed level. Superficial sediments were collected at depths ranging from 5 to 80 m and were analyzed for grain size, mineralogical composition and skeletal carbonate composition. Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows border the coasts in a narrow strip on both sides of the strait down to a depth of 40 m. At greater depths, the seabed is characterized by the presence of plateaus and ridges which are controlled by outcropping bedrock morphology. Waves and seabed currents are driven by the prevailing northwest and northeast winds. For both wind directions, higher values for the seabed current velocity, associated with wind-storm events, were detected in shallower sectors and along an east west-oriented belt that connects the western Mediterranean and the Tyrrhenian Seas. The sediments range from sand to gravel and show a mixed biogenic carbonate/siliciclastic composition. This is due to the carbonate production associated with benthic ecosystems and the mixing of modern carbonate with relict sediments. Biogenic gravelly sands were found in association with Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows and extended down to the circalittoral zone outside the deeper boundary of the meadows. This sedimentary facies was derived from the modern carbonate production associated with the P. oceanica ecosystem. Sediments collected outside the deeper limit of the meadows were identified as sediments deposited during the stand of the meadows at a deeper level during lower sea level conditions. Maerl (free-living calcareous red algae) beds are the main carbonate factory and are mainly located at the top of the rocky plateaus (at similar to 50-55 m) formed by the outcropping of the bedrock. Downward, the increased currents at the seabed level in the east west-oriented belt, which connects the western Mediterranean and the Tyrrhenian Seas, limit the extension of this carbonate factory. This results in a mixed sedimentary facies composed of biogenic carbonate and relict siliciclastic sandy gravel. Compared to other Mediterranean shelves, the strait of Bonifacio is characterized by a distinct oceanographic setting. This is due to the connection between two basins. The currents at the seabed play a crucial role in controlling the distribution of the carbonate factories.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/104097
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