GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 54-1
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM-6:30 PM


HOLCOMB, Justin, Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas, 1930 Constant Ave, Lawrence, KS 66047, WEGMANN, Karl W., North Carolina State University, Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, 2800 Faucette DR, Campus Box 8202, Raleigh, NC 27695 and RUNNELS, Curtis, Archaeology Program, Department of Anthropology, Boston University, 675 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Establishing the age and location of late Quaternary landforms and their associated deposits is a primary objective of Quaternary scientists across the eastern Mediterranean. In the Aegean Basin, geologists use marine terraces and other shoreline features to constrain estimates of Quaternary surface uplift to inform conceptual models of regional geodynamics. Archaeologists use these models for locating potential Palaeolithic-aged archaeological sites. In the Aegean Basin, much of what we know about eustatic sea-level changes, rock uplift, paleoshoreline histories, and associated archaeological site preservation potential has been interpreted from research on the southern coast of Crete. However, due to the geometry of the Hellenic Subduction Zone in this area, the southern coast has undergone rapid uplift, making the preservation and discovery of near-coastal archaeological sites more challenging. Conversely, the more tectonically stable nature of the north coast may preserve geomorphic settings more conducive to preserving Pleistocene deposits and associated Palaeolithic archaeological sites. Here we report OSL results and describe the stratigraphy of a well-stratified near-shore alluvial fan sequence located at Mochlos Bay, northeastern Crete. Despite previous estimates suggesting a relatively young age for nearshore deposits on the northern coast, our results indicate that Quaternary deposits span the last 130,000 years and are differentially preserved across the northern coast within alluvial fan sequences capping MIS 5 marine highstand algal reef, aeolianites, and stone-tool bearing argillic paleosols. The data presented here are consistent with vertical stability and very low subsidence rates for the northeast coast of Crete since MIS 5e. Additionally, the presence of stone tools preserved within last Interglacial paleosols supports previous research on the southern coast that suggest a hominin presence on the island of Crete by ~100,000 ka. These data shed new light on Paleolithic site formation processes on Crete and inform geological and archaeological site-location models seeking to understand Pleistocene site preservation potential and hominin dispersal routes on Crete and across the Aegean Basin.