Geomorphological investigations coupled with sedimentological, petrographical, and SEM analyses allowed to identify, for the first time, a paleo-fixed and inland aeolian dune field in the Gioia Tauro Plain, on the Tyrrhenian side of southern Calabria (southern Italy). The aeolian landforms, extended over an area of 43 km2, are characterized by smoothed and elongated NW-SE trending vegetation-fixed linear dunes, varying in height from a few meters up to 20 m. Forty sand samples were collected from dunes to perform laboratory analyses. Grain size analyses showed that samples are composed of unimodal coarse-grained sands (Mz = 0.820 φ), moderately sorted (σ = 0.862), positively skewed (Sk1 = 0.173) and mesokurtic (KG = 1.115). Petrographic analyses highlighted a composition dominated by quartz and minor feldspars. Modal data, and especially the high F/Q ratio and the Rg:Rs:Rm triangular plot, suggest a plutoniclastic supply from the Aspromonte Massif crystalline source rocks. SEM analyses of sand grains clearly displayed the presence of typical wind-generated features mainly represented by rounded form with low relief, bulbous edges, and dish-shaped depressions. These results combined with morphological analyses showed that these aeolian deposits fall into the category of sand sheets. Furthermore, geological and geoarchaeological data evidenced that dune field was formed in the time interval between ~28 ka and the VI - IV century B.C. The dune filed formation has been interrupted presumably by the combined effect of Holocene tectonics, along the Gioia Tauro-San Ferdinando normal fault, and the lowering of sea level, during the Last Glacial period, originating a natural barrier to windblown sand particles. The findings of the paper will help in understanding both inland aeolian products in southern Europe associated to the second colder phase of the Last Glacial period in the Mediterranean area and the complex patterns of spatial and temporal distribution, as well as the control factors determining preservation of the aeolian sediments throughout the rock record.

Morphology, properties, and source of windblown sediments of the coastal dune field in the Gioia Tauro Plain, Calabria, southern Italy

Borrelli Luigi
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Antronico Loredana
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Le Pera Emilia
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Pisano Barbara
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Geomorphological investigations coupled with sedimentological, petrographical, and SEM analyses allowed to identify, for the first time, a paleo-fixed and inland aeolian dune field in the Gioia Tauro Plain, on the Tyrrhenian side of southern Calabria (southern Italy). The aeolian landforms, extended over an area of 43 km2, are characterized by smoothed and elongated NW-SE trending vegetation-fixed linear dunes, varying in height from a few meters up to 20 m. Forty sand samples were collected from dunes to perform laboratory analyses. Grain size analyses showed that samples are composed of unimodal coarse-grained sands (Mz = 0.820 φ), moderately sorted (σ = 0.862), positively skewed (Sk1 = 0.173) and mesokurtic (KG = 1.115). Petrographic analyses highlighted a composition dominated by quartz and minor feldspars. Modal data, and especially the high F/Q ratio and the Rg:Rs:Rm triangular plot, suggest a plutoniclastic supply from the Aspromonte Massif crystalline source rocks. SEM analyses of sand grains clearly displayed the presence of typical wind-generated features mainly represented by rounded form with low relief, bulbous edges, and dish-shaped depressions. These results combined with morphological analyses showed that these aeolian deposits fall into the category of sand sheets. Furthermore, geological and geoarchaeological data evidenced that dune field was formed in the time interval between ~28 ka and the VI - IV century B.C. The dune filed formation has been interrupted presumably by the combined effect of Holocene tectonics, along the Gioia Tauro-San Ferdinando normal fault, and the lowering of sea level, during the Last Glacial period, originating a natural barrier to windblown sand particles. The findings of the paper will help in understanding both inland aeolian products in southern Europe associated to the second colder phase of the Last Glacial period in the Mediterranean area and the complex patterns of spatial and temporal distribution, as well as the control factors determining preservation of the aeolian sediments throughout the rock record.
2021
Aeolian deposits, Sand dune field, Sedimentology, Petrography, Micromorphology
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/313681
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