The integrated analysis of high-resolution multibeam bathymetry and single-channel seismic profiles around Salina Island allowed us to characterize the stratigraphic architecture of the insular shelf. The shelf is formed by a gently-sloping erosive surface carved on the volcanic bedrock, mostly covered by sediments organized in a suite of terraced bodies, i.e. submarine depositional terraces. Based on their position on the shelf, depth range of their edge and inner geometry, different orders of terraces can be distinguished. The shallowest terrace (near-shore terrace) is a sedimentary prograding wedge, whose formation can be associated to the downward transport of sediments from the surf zone and shoreface during stormy conditions. According to the range depth of the terrace edge (i.e., 10–25 m, compatible with the estimated present-day, local storm-wave base level in the central and western Mediterranean), the formation of this wedge can be attributed to the present-day highstand. By assuming a similar genesis for the deeper terraces, mid-shelf terraces having the edge at depths of 40–50 m and 70–80 m can be attributed to the late and early stages of the Post-LGM transgression, respectively. Finally, the deepest terrace (shelf-edge terrace) has the edge at depths of 130–160 m, being thus referable to the lowstand occurred at ca. 20 ka. Based on the variability of edge depth in the different sectors, we also show how lowstand terraces can be used to provide insights on the recent vertical movements that affected Salina edifice in the last 20 ka, highlighting more generally their possible use for neo-tectonic studies elsewhere. Moreover, being these terraces associated to different paleo-sea levels, they can be used to constrain the relative age of the different erosive stages affecting shallow-water sectors.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited