Evidence of vertical tectonic uplift at Briatico (Calabria, Italy) inferred from Roman age maritime archaeological indicators

Marco Anzidei, Fabrizio Antonioli, Alessandra Benini, Anna Gervasi, Ignazio Guerra

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Calabria is one of the most complex geological regions of the Mediterranean basin, which experienced large earthquakes and uplift and is still undergoing active tectonics. Along its coasts are located archaeological sites that can be used as powerful indicators of the relative vertical movements between land and sea since their construction. This paper presents and discusses data on the relative sea-level change as estimated from maritime archaeological indicators of the last ~2.0 ka BP existing along the Tyrrhenian coast of Briatico. These sites still show the remnants of a Roman age fish tank and a submerged breakwater about 320 m long.The palaeo sea level has been obtained measuring the functional elevation of the significant archaeological markers. Their elevation was compared against the latest predicted sea level curve for the Holocene along the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria. As this coastal area is affected by significant and continuous vertical tectonic uplift during Pleistocene, the data show the counterbalance between coastal uplift and relative sea level change caused by the glacio-hydro-isostasy, acting since the construction of these archaeological sites. The sum of these movements determined an about null relative sea level change for this location. These data are in contrast with other part of the tectonically stable areas of the Mediterranean and provide evidence that crustal uplift continued in the last 1806 ± 50 y at a rate of 0.65 mm/y. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158 - 167
Number of pages10
JournalQuaternary International
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes

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