Post-glacial terraces of the marmara sea and water exchange periods

Ediger V., Demirbag E., ERGİNTAV S., Inan S., SAATÇILAR R.

Bulletin of the Mineral Research and Exploration, vol.157, pp.39-57, 2018 (ESCI) identifier identifier


Semi enclosed Marmara Sea is a passage between the Aegean Sea (Northeastern Mediterranean Sea) and the Black Sea. The Marmara Sea is connected to the Black Sea and Aegean Sea through the Istanbul Strait (Bosphorus) and Canakkale Strait (Dardanelles), respectively. Despite the fact that the late Pleistocene-Holocene connections between the seas have been explored by many scientists, there are still uncertainties about the nature and timing of the connections. Within the scope of this study, a new approach has been displayed for post-glacial connections between the Black Sea, Marmara Sea and Aegean Sea. This study is based on 80 shallow seismic reflection lines, multibeam bathymetric data and 15 short gravity cores collected from the northeastern shelf of the Marmara Sea (between Silivri and Golden Horn). The sea bottom and sub-bottom morphology have a highly chaotic structure at the exit of the Buyukcekmece/Kucukcekmece lagoons and further east near the Marmara-Istanbul Strait junction. This chaotic bottom and sub-bottom surface morphologies are mainly controlled by the structure of the basin, current regime of the shelf, coastal drainage systems and by the sea/lake water level changes controlled by climate and the sill depths of the two straits, which in turn determined the water exchange between the seas. The sedimentological interpretation of the seismic reflection profiles and core sediments have allowed us to distinguish five stratigraphic units (S1-S5) and four sedimentary layers (A-D) over the acoustic basement. The lower stratigraphic unit and sedimentary layer are separated from the overlying acoustic basement by a chaotic to parallel and by a high amplitude seismic reflector. Seaward dipping units of the acoustic basement are inferred to be the seaward continuation of the Oligocene-Upper Miocene units widely exposed on land. The presence of three different marine terraces distinguished (T1-T3) along the northeastern shelf of the Marmara Sea have been associated with the six different curves of the post-glacial sea-level changes. From statistical point of view, the most significant terraces occur from -78 m to -80 m (T1), -58 m to -62 m (T2) and -28 m to -32 m at (T3). Considering the global sea level curves, these terraces can be dated 9.25, 12.25 and 13.75 Cal kyr BP, respectively.