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Open AccessArticle

Late Quaternary Landscape Dynamics at the La Spezia Gulf (NW Italy): A Multi-Proxy Approach Reveals Environmental Variability within a Rocky Embayment

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Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Zamboni 67, 40126 Bologna, Italy
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Laboratory of Palynology and Archaeobotany—C.A.A. Giorgio Nicoli, Via Marzocchi 17, San Giovanni in Persiceto, 40017 Bologna, Italy
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Department of Earth Sciences, University of Pisa, Via S. Maria 53, 56126 Pisa, Italy
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Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio per La Città Metropolitana di Genova e La Provincia di La Spezia, Via Balbi 10, 16126 Genova, Italy
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SEMPER S.r.l., Via Venezia 92/B, 35131 Padova, Italy
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CIRSEC Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca per lo Studio degli Effetti del Cambiamento Climatico dell’Università di Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy
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INGV Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia—Pisa, Via Cesare Battisti 53, 56125 Pisa, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Achim A. Beylich
Water 2021, 13(4), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040427
Received: 31 December 2020 / Revised: 31 January 2021 / Accepted: 1 February 2021 / Published: 6 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impact on Coastal Environments)
The Gulf of La Spezia (GLS) in Northwest Italy is a rocky embayment with low fluvial influence facing the Mediterranean Sea. Past landscape dynamics were investigated through a multi-proxy, facies-based analysis down to a core depth of 30 m. The integration of quantitative ostracod, foraminifera, and pollen analyses, supported by radiocarbon ages, proved to be a powerful tool to unravel the late Quaternary palaeoenvironmental evolution and its forcing factors. The complex interplay between relative sea-level (RSL), climatic changes, and geomorphological features of the embayment drove four main evolution phases. A barrier–lagoon system developed in response to the rising RSL of the Late Pleistocene (likely the Last Interglacial). The establishment of glacial conditions then promoted the development of an alluvial environment, with generalised erosion of the underlying succession and subsequent accumulation of fluvial strata. The Holocene transgression (dated ca. 9000 cal year BP) caused GLS inundation and the formation of a low-confined lagoon basin, which rapidly turned into a coastal bay from ca. 8000 cal year BP onwards. This latter environmental change occurred in response to the last Holocene stage of global sea-level acceleration, which submerged a morphological relief currently forming a drowned barrier-island complex in the embayment. View Full-Text
Keywords: rocky embayment; Mediterranean Sea; late Quaternary; pollen; ostracods and foraminifers; coastal landscape rocky embayment; Mediterranean Sea; late Quaternary; pollen; ostracods and foraminifers; coastal landscape
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rossi, V.; Amorosi, A.; Marchesini, M.; Marvelli, S.; Cocchianella, A.; Lorenzini, L.; Trigona, S.L.; Valle, G.; Bini, M. Late Quaternary Landscape Dynamics at the La Spezia Gulf (NW Italy): A Multi-Proxy Approach Reveals Environmental Variability within a Rocky Embayment. Water 2021, 13, 427. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040427

AMA Style

Rossi V, Amorosi A, Marchesini M, Marvelli S, Cocchianella A, Lorenzini L, Trigona SL, Valle G, Bini M. Late Quaternary Landscape Dynamics at the La Spezia Gulf (NW Italy): A Multi-Proxy Approach Reveals Environmental Variability within a Rocky Embayment. Water. 2021; 13(4):427. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040427

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rossi, Veronica; Amorosi, Alessandro; Marchesini, Marco; Marvelli, Silvia; Cocchianella, Andrea; Lorenzini, Luca; Trigona, Simon L.; Valle, Gianfranco; Bini, Monica. 2021. "Late Quaternary Landscape Dynamics at the La Spezia Gulf (NW Italy): A Multi-Proxy Approach Reveals Environmental Variability within a Rocky Embayment" Water 13, no. 4: 427. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040427

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