Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Liquete C., Canals M., De Mol B., De Batist M., Trincardi F. Quaternary stratal architecture of the Barcelona prodeltaic continental shelf (NW Mediterranean). In: Marine Geology, vol. 250 pp. 234 - 250. Elsevier Science Bv, 2008.
The Barcelona continental shelf is part of a 620 km wide canyon-bounded shelf located off the city of Barcelona (NE Spain). This study integrates newly acquired high-resolution single channel seismic reflection profiles and available lithological information of the Barcelona shelf to describe its late Quaternary architecture and the role of global glacio-eustatic fluctuations and local factors in its development. Four major sequence boundaries are identified throughout the seismic dataset. They are tentatively correlated with the four last 4th order (100120 ka) high-amplitude late Quaternary glacio-eustatic lowstands. Most of the stratigraphic record is formed by falling stage systems tracts with forced-regressive deposits, which confers a general progradational vertical stacking pattern. Transgressive systems tracts are represented by continuous units confined directly off river sources and on previously eroded surfaces. Stillstand deposits are difficult to recognize in the available dataset. The uppermost seismic unit corresponds to the Holocene shore-parallel Besos and Llobregat joint prodelta affected by the prevailing south-westward circulation. The general architecture of the late Quaternary Barcelona shelf deposits is determined by global glacio-eustatic cycles. However, the lateral variability of the seismic units depends largely on local factors such as (i) the position of sediment sources (essentially the Llobregat River); (ii) differential subsidence and, especially, sediment compaction; (iii) erosive processes such as canyon incision, mass wasting or wave base dynamics; and (iv) underlying geomorphic restrictions.
DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2008.01.014
Subject high-resolution seismic profiles
sequence stratigraphy
Barcelona continental shelf
Mediterranean margin
Mediterranean Sea

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