Original paper

Comments on the neotectonics of the coastal zone of western Messenia of based on luminescence dating and geoarchaeological evidence and

Athanassas, Constantin; Fountoulis, Ioannis; Mariolakos, Ilias; Bassiakos, Yiannis; Karotsieris, Zafeiris; Triantaphyllou, Maria; Theodorakopoulou, Katerina


The coastal regions of western Messenia belong to a regime of substancial vertical neotectonic deformation. This has been an ongoing procedure since at least the Early Quaternary. Along with the crustal displacement, sea level has undergone fluctations over the same period of time. The interaction between uplifting Messenia and the oscillating sea level has resulted in a flank of wave-cut terraces. So far, the neo-tectonic configuration of western Messenia was only qualitatively approached. Therefore, a chronological framework based on numeric dating is necessary to estimate rates of vertical dislocation. Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating of sediments has been utilised in this research in order to yield ages of tectonic and eustatic changes. Nevertheless, saturation of the OSL signal restricted luminescence dating to the Upper Quaternary only. Wanget al. (2006a, b) proposed that the thermally transferred OSL (TT-OSL) signals from quartz are suitable for dating older geologic events, thus allowing us to acquire a more comprehensive picture of the geoenvironmental evolution of western Messenia. Besides, the coastal areas of Navarino have exhibited evidence of human activity since prehistoric times. Ancient human activity was controlled by coastal processes and thus its remains may comprise important indicators of coastal displacement. Specifically, Hellenistic and Roman archaeological sites are useful markers of tectonic subsidence and thus they demonstrate localised diversions from the general pattern of uplift. In this study, geomorphic, geochronological and geoarchaeological data were merged, in order to understand the neotectonic pattern that underlines the geoenvironmental evolution of Messenia.


geoarchaeologymessenianeotectonicsosl dating