We present evidence of the rates of late Quaternary tectonic uplift that have affected parts of central Greece during this period of active extension and basin formation. Dual lines of evidence indicate upper Pleistocene to Holocene uplift rates of the order of 0.3 mm yr -1 for the Corinth and Megara basins. First, U-series disequilibrium ages of Acropora sp. corals from uplifted marine sediments are used to derive minimum average rates of vertical displacement since deposition. Second, the geometries of cyclical transgressive sequences and of erosional terraces are consistent with the radiometric evidence and the known history of late Quaternary sea level fluctuations. Two types of uplift are distinguished on the basis of structural relationships: (1) fault block rotation about a horizontal axis (tilting) in response to footwall uplift on the active normal fault bounding the Alkyonides Gulf and (2) a more regional uplift which affects the Corinth Basin and Peloponnesos to the south. The results of U-series dating are discussed in the light of initial 234U/238U activity ratios, derived from the coral samples, which are higher than for average marine waters (1. 17-1.31 compared to 1.14). These values may be related to a variable freshwater input to the structurally confined Gulf of Corinth or, alternatively, they may reflect a previously higher global 234U/238U activity ratio in marine waters, or post-mortem enrichment in 234U, although the mechanism of the latter is not yet understood.
Aegean has been an area of active crustal extension[McKenzie, 1978; Le Pichon and Angelier, 1981; Jackson et al., 1982a, 1982b]. Characteristic halfgraben and asymmetric graben basins are developing in response to the rapid extensional strain rates which are accompanied by intense seismicity [Jackson and McKenzie, 1988]. Very high rates of three-dimensional rotations are occurring between fault-bounded blocks [Jackson and McKenzie, 1988; Billiris et al., 1991].
A method for the isotope analysis of fluid inclusion water in speleothem calcite is presented. The technique is based on a commercially available continuous-flow pyrolysis furnace (ThermoFinnigan TC-EA). The main adaptation made to the standard TC-EA configuration is the addition of a crusher and cold trap unit, which is connected to the carrier gas inlet at the top of the TC-EA reactor tube. A series of tests conducted with this device shows that: (1) standard waters, injected in the crusher, and passed through a cryogenic trapping routine, yield accurate delta(2)H values; (2) crushed cubes of speleothem calcite from two Peruvian caves with rather dissimilar seepage water delta(2)H values yield fluid inclusion delta(2)H values in good accordance with these drip waters. The clear advantage of this continuous-flow technique for fluid inclusion isotope analysis is that it is relatively quick compared with other techniques. Since the conditions of water sample introduction into the TC-EA are identical for delta(2)H and delta(18)O analysis, we expect that only limited adaptations to the extraction procedure are required to provide delta(18)O analysis of fluid inclusion samples with the same device.
The growth of speleothems is indicative of interglacial and interstadial conditions in the United Kingdom, since their growth is dependent on two factors. First, the occurrence of significant diffuse groundwater recharge and, second, the biogenic production of carbon dioxide in the soil, both are dependent on temperature and water availability. The growth frequency of speleothems is examined using a cumulative distributed error frequency method applied to 341 uncontaminated uranium-series age determinations. The curves derived are shown to be statistically stable, and the ages of the peaks are interpreted as the best estimates of the ages of interglacial and interstadial periods. Ten such periods are recognized during the interval 220,000 to 20,000 yr B.P., considerably more than are currently recognized in the UK pollen- and coleoptera-based Quaternary stratigraphy. Correlations between the speleothem growth frequency peaks and last interglacial (Ipswichian) sites can be made, but correlations with last glacial (Devensian) interstadial sites are limited because of the paucity of dates. The speleothem growth frequency record provides a well-dated terrestrial chronology for the past 140,000 yr B.P., which directly reflects regional palaeoclimatic conditions in Britain, and should prove very useful in unravelling the complex stratigraphy of the Devensian and Ipswichian stages.
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