Geoscientific investigations in search of tsunami deposits in the environs of the Agoulinitsa peatland, Kaiafas Lagoon and Kakovatos (Gulf of Kyparissia, western Peloponnese, Greece)
Koster, Benjamin; Vött, Andreas; Mathes-Schmidt, Margret; Reicherter, Klaus
published: Dec 1, 2015
Historical reports document a minimum of 4 tsunami events at the Gulf of Kyparissia (western Peloponnese/Greece) within the last 300 years triggered by strong earthquakes or secondary effects. An extended field campaign targeted sedimentological evidence for palaeotsunami deposits in the Agoulin- itsa peatland, the Kaiafas Lagoon and in the vicinity of Kakovatos, south of Zacharo. Drill core sediments revealed evidence for sudden environmental changes within the study area at the Kaiafas Lagoon. These characteristic deposits with multiple fining upward sequences, rip-up clasts and a high amount of shells/shell debris indicate a minimum of one tsunami event. Geochemical analysis and foraminiferal composition underlines this hypothesis and reveals further characteristics of tsunami event horizons. The radiocarbon dating results yielded possible tsunami landfall between AD 540 and minimum AD 1274 in the Kaiafas Lagoon, which is not surprising as several events are reported for this period. In the Agoulinitsa peatland the occurrence of a high-energy event deposit is possible; however, as it was only detected in one drill core, no conclusions can be drawn regarding possible tsunami inundation. In the vicinity of Kakovatos several sandy deposits were found within the drill core stratigraphy. Using ground penetrating radar close to the drilling site we were able to correlate these sand layers with dune generations and not with high-energy event layers.