Foraminifera and tidal notches: Dating neotectonic events at Korphos, Greece

F. C. Nixon, E. G. Reinhardt, R. Rothaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Fossil assemblages of foraminifera and thecamoebians from three salt-marsh cores recovered at Korphos, Greece, provided evidence for five transgression events since the mid Holocene. Marsh accretion rates based on radiocarbon-dated peat and geomorphic evidence from a series of discrete, v-shaped, submerged tidal notches indicated that these transgression events were rapid and episodic. Correlation of the tidal notches with the transgression horizons in the salt-marsh stratigraphy revealed a stepwise pattern of relative sea-level change at Korphos, which is best explained by coseismic subsidence related to fault displacement (earthquakes) associated with the Hellenic subduction zone. A comparison between the Korphos data and a model of Holocene sea-level change for the Peloponnesus reinforces this interpretation as sea-level rose in a series of jumps by amounts greater than accounted for by eustatic and glacio-hydro-isostatic factors (up to ~ 2.0 m). This study illustrates that by combining microfossil, sedimentary and geomorphic records of past sea-level change, problems frequently encountered with each record individually (e.g. dating submerged notches and autocompaction of marsh sediments) may be overcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalMarine Geology
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Greece
  • Holocene sea-level change
  • foraminifera
  • salt-marsh
  • thecamoebians
  • tidal notch


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