P.A. Pirazzoli's research while affiliated with French National Centre for Scientific Research and other places

Publications (109)

Article
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An underwater geomorphological survey along the coasts of six Cycladic islands (Sifnos, Antiparos, Paros, Naxos, Iraklia and Keros) revealed widespread evidence of seven submerged tidal notches. At least seven former shorelines were identified at depths between 280 ± 20 and 30 ± 5 cm below modern sea level. The vertical succession of several submer...
Article
Sea-level surges caused by sirocco wind are frequent in the northern Adriatic. Added to the local spring-tide amplitude of about 40 cm, they should not be disregarded when estimating the elevation of maritime archaeological structures in relation to their function at the time of their construction. Based on the statistical analysis of the frequency...
Article
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The four fossil terraces of the Glorieuses Islands are described and new dates provided to resolve their stratigraphy, depositional setting and tectonic behavior. Most outcrops consist of a single sedimentary unit that represents the remains of an extensive reef flat dominated by Isopora palifera corals. At Lys Island, this unit is locally overlain...
Article
The recent rise in global sea level is causing the disappearance of an important geomorphological sea-level indicator, the tidal notch.Tidal notches have often been used in carbonate coasts for Quaternary and late Holocene sea-level reconstructions and estimation of tectonic movements, especially in uplifting areas. In this paper, we review the rat...
Article
We present estimates for late Holocene relative sea level change along the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy based on morphological characteristics of eight submerged Roman fish tanks (piscinae) constructed between the 1st century B.C. and the 2nd century A.D. Underwater geomorphological features and archaeological remains related to past sea level have be...
Article
Lechaion’s ancient harbor is now a coastal swamp filled with sediments. Two natural factors explain the harbor’s abandonment: (1) tectonic uplift during historical times and (2) the location of the harbor basin in a serpentine depression protected from the sea. Although it undoubtedly functioned as a very efficient sediment trap, only modest sedime...
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Detailed mapping along the coasts of Skyros Island (Aegean Sea) provided new evidence concerning the rates and the modality of subsidence in the area. The results are provided through the study of the shape and the dimensions of the two submerged notches detected around the carbonate coasts of the island.It is apparent that the island has been subm...
Article
Detailed mapping along the northwestern coastline of Euboea has provided new evidence of colonization by Lithophaga lithophaga (L.) reaching about 3.8 m above the present biological MSL. Such marine biological marks, together with morphological notches, correspond to the occurrence of two sequences of Holocene vertical displacements higher than tho...
Article
The possibility of Holocene subsidence along the northern coast of the Corinth Gulf is often mentioned in the literature; however, systematic detailed evidence that submergence (e.g. of archaeological remains) does not simply depend from eustatic sea-level rise is most often missing. In this paper, a new detailed study of submerged tidal-notch prof...
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Detailed mapping of coastline around Theologos area revealed the existence of well developed permanently submerged notches 75 ± 10 cm below present mean sea level. The regional occurrence of well preserved submerged tidal notches suggests their coseismic origin. The submergence of this Holocene shoreline possibly occurred at 1894 AD. Average submer...
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The paper deals with wind measurements, recorded since the 1950s, at twelve meteorological stations along a transect near the westernmost European border, between 64° and 44° N. Extreme wind speed tends to decrease sharply near the northern boundary (at Reykjavick), near the middle of the study area (at Shannon and Valentia) and near the southern b...
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This paper analyses sea surge variations measured at four tide-gauge stations (Port-Vendres, Sète, Grau-de-la-Dent and Marseille) almost evenly located around the Gulf of Lions (NorthWestern corner of Mediterranean Sea) and their relationships with local-scale winds and regional-scale atmospheric patterns (i.e. weather regimes). On the whole 20th c...
Article
The scarcity of tide gauges in a global scale and the variability of the tidal levels along contiguous coasts mainly due to changing hydrographic conditions make the determination of tidal levels, especially of the Mean Sea Level, not an easy task. Determination of such levels with a precision of about 10 cm, necessary for most coastal engineering...
Article
A description is given of geomorphologic indicators of the present sea level that may be used, when preserved at elevated or submerged positions, to recognize and estimate former sea levels. The degree of accuracy of the indicators is evaluated. Erosion indicators include notches, benches, platforms, strand flats, honeycombs, tafoni, pools, sea cav...
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The vulnerability to short-term and long-term sea-level rises is particularly high in subsiding deltaic areas, especially in microtidal seas, when surges (the differences between the observed sea heights and the simultaneous astronomical tide) are frequent. At the Grau-de-la-Dent tide-gauge in the Camargue (Rhone delta, France), daily sea-level rec...
Article
Historical sources ascribe the foundation of Seleucia (Seleukeia) Pieria to Seleucos I Nikator, shortly before the foundation of Antioch in the late 4th century BC. The Seleucia Pieria site seems however to have been inhabited earlier, perhaps from around 700 BC, possibly by a Greek population under an Assyrian ruler. The city became of considerabl...
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We present new evidence of megablocks left by extreme waves around the Tripoli islands and Byblos, northern Lebanon. On Ile du Palmier, megablocks have been projected a distance of 50 to 100 m from the shoreline. A Dendropoma bioconstruction was sampled from the outer part of one of the blocks, approx. 3.5 m3 in size and located 60m from the shore....
Article
In approximately the last 20,000 years, after a period of violent explosive activity which led to the formation of a spectacular, 4 km-wide caldera and a subsequent phase of extrusion of domes up to 600 m high, the approximately 150,000 years old Nisyros volcano, at the SE edge of the Aegean volcanic arc was relatively quiescent, and its activity i...
Article
Field biological and geomorphological observations in certain East Asia coasts permit definition of Mean Sea Level (MSL) with an accuracy of ∼10 cm, that is, a vertical geodetic datum, as well as recognition of the MSL of fossil shorelines, up to a few thousand years old, mainly associated with tectonic/seismic effects. Subsidence produced by compa...
Article
A survey of raised coral reef terraces in locations along the southern coast of Iran was carried out with the aim of assessing regional Late Quaternary tectonic uplift rates influenced by salt doming. Two islands were studied: Kish, where no previous data were available, and Qeshm, where a previous survey had already attributed the lowest step in t...
Article
Indicators of three fossil shorelines, located at elevations of 43–45m asl (I order), 23–27m (II order) and about 12m (III order), are recognized on the island of Lipari. Detailed evaluation of the stratigraphic relationships to the volcanic substratum allows their correlation with Late-Quaternary eustatic highstands of Tyrrhenian age, correspondin...
Article
The southern coast of the Gulf of Corinth, Greece, has long been recognized as an area of rapid Quaternary uplift in a normal faulting environment, but the amplitude, dating and significance of this uplift remain a matter of debate, mainly due to the scarcity of reliable and detailed estimates of Holocene and longer-term uplift.Evidence of Holocene...
Article
Electron spin resonance (ESR) dating of raised coral reefs from Kish Island, Persian Gulf, Iran, was used for the calculation of uplift rates. From the methodological point of view, it has been demonstrated that concentrations of uranium, as needed for the calculation of dose rates, determined by instrumental neutron activation analyses were signif...
Article
Newly acquired observations of the history of relative sea level change throughout the Western Mediterranean Basin have been employed to investigate the ability of the ICE-4G(VM2) model of the global process of glacial isostatic adjustment to reconcile the data. We show that this model perfectly fits these data when careful account is taken of the...
Article
Indicators of former sea-levels are recognised on the emergent portion of Lipari, Aeolian Islands. They correlate with three raised shorelines, located at elevations of 43–45 m above present sea-level (I), 23–27 m (II) and about 12 m (III). According to stratigraphical constraints, these shorelines correlate with the sea-level highstands correspond...
Article
The recent increase in the frequency of coastal flooding in Venice mainly depends on loss of land elevation (subsidence and eustasy) and man-induced hydrodynamic changes in the lagoon area, but can also be strengthened in the near future by changes in climate. In this paper, after a short review of recent changes in the relative mean and maximal le...
Article
The recent increase in the frequency of coastal flooding in Venice (Italy) mainly depends on loss of soil elevation (land subsidence and eustasy) and on man-induced hydrodynamic changes in the lagoon area, but can also be strengthened in the near future by changes in climate. In this paper, after a short review of recent changes in the relative mea...
Article
The occurrence of raised ancient marine deposits and forms on the Lipari Island has long been well known (KELLER, 1967; PICHLER, 1968). Five orders of marine terraces have been recognized between 45 and 3 metres asl and related to Tyrrhenian and post-Tyrrhenian highslands mostly on the basis of their elevation (KELLER, 1967). More recent studies ha...
Article
At least three raised shorelines, micro-benches and notches, spanning a distance of more than 10 km and marked by a well-preserved marine fauna have been identified along the NW coast of Samos Island, Aegean Sea, and area hitherto assumed to be characterised by a Holocene marine transgression. These fossil shorelines are nearly horizontal, approxim...
Article
Marine bioerosion marks and radiocarbon AMS dating give evidence of a two-phase sequence of coseismic vertical displacements which occurred during the Late Holocene in the Livanates-Arkitsa area (south coast of the Euboea Gulf). Morphological and biological arguments suggest that both the displacements were superimposed on a gradual relative sea-le...
Article
Late Holocene back-barrier sediments have been studied in a former lagoon reclaimed during the last century. Several shallow boreholes were cored, from which nine organic-rich samples were selected for radiocarbon dating, and others for palynological and palaeontological analysis. This enabled the reconstruction of the evolution of a back-barrier c...
Chapter
This paper is included in the Special Publication entitled 'Coastal tectonics', edited by I. Stewart and C. Vita-Finzi. A survey of 1500 km of the Iranian coastline, from Bushehr (Persian Gulf) to the Pakistani border, made it possible to visit several sequences of raised marine terraces, some of which (especially on the Makran coast) had already b...
Article
A field survey along the coasts of Calabria has found little evidence of Holocene emergence, the greatest being no more than 1.0–1.5 m in elevation. A former shoreline (a thick crust of calcareous algae in growth position at about + 0.6 m, capping an elevated beachrock slab) was dated 2990 ± 60 yr B.P. This emergence is recent, if compared to the t...
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Estimates of the storage and flux of shelf carbon in vegetation, soils, carbonates, and organic matter during the period of the marine transgression since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) 18 ka are presented. Whereas at present each square metre of land on the planet carries about 10.65 kg of carbon in vegetation and soils, during the LGM most areas...
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We collected and dated fossil corals from the uplifted reef tracts of Sumba Island. Mass spectrometry (TIMS and AMS) was used to obtain reliable and precise radiochronological results. It is possible to identify outcrops corresponding to major sea level high stands: isotope stage 1 (starting at 7.1 kyr BP), 5a (c.a. 86 kyr BP), 5c (c.a. 105 kyr BP)...
Article
Lechaion, the western harbor of ancient Corinth, was an artificial harbor excavated in a marshy area and connected to the open sea through a channel with revetment walls. It was probably the most important harbor of this type in antiquity, and one of the most important harbors in Greece for more than one millennium. Yet, the date of construction of...
Article
Most coastal sectors which show evidence of Holocene coseismic uplift in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean were raised during a short period called here the Early Byzantine tectonic paroxysm (EBTP) between the middle of the fourth and the middle of the sixth century A.D. The areas uplifted at that time include Cephalonia and Zante in the Ionian...
Article
In this paper, after a discussion of some criteria which enable coastal indicators of rapid (coseismic) vertical movement to be identified and distinguished from evidence of more gradual relative sea-level changes, significant marks of rapid vertical movements in Mediterranean coastal limestone areas are described. These include geomorphological, p...
Article
Global climate change is the most significant phenomenon that may control the global variations of sea level over the coming thousands of years. During the alternate glacial and interglacial periods, ice-cap melting and ice accumulation in the high latitudes change the ocean water volume, which causes the sea level oscillations. For the longer peri...
Article
There are numerous reports of ancient human constructions (i) offset and destroyed by seismic surface faulting, or (ii) with small displacements along horizontal discontinuities testifying to high acceleration effects, or (iii) containing destruction layers below which skeletons of people killed and buried by fallen debris have been found. In these...
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A systematic multidisciplinary survey on the coasts of the Ionian Islands, founded on 26 new radiocarbon accelerator mass spectrography (AMS) dates, has revealed the occurrence of sectors which were uplifted (seismo)tectonically during the late Holocene. In Corfu, two uplift movements of about 0.8m each took place in the central part of the island:...
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A flight of six major coral reef terraces, up to 700 m in altitude, occurs along the eastern and northern sides of Kabola Peninsula, Alor Island, Indonesia. Some radiometric dates have been obtained from unrecrystallized coral samples collected in growth position by three different methods (14C, 230Th/234U, ESR). This enabled the identification of...
Article
Geomorphological, marine biological and radiometric data in combination with earlier reports reveal that the Ms= 7.2, 1953 Cephalonia earthquake, the most destructive but least studied earthquake in Greece this century, was associated with a 0.3–0.7 m quasi-rigid-body uplift and westward tilting of the central part of the island. Another palaeoseis...
Article
Four raised shorelines, between +1.1 m and +3.5 m, have been identified at two localities on the Perachora Peninsula and were dated by AMS 14C to between 6400 and 1500 calibrated years ago. Uplift movements seem to have occurred in increments of 0.8 ± 0.3 m, with a return period of about 1600 years. The last uplift coincided with a regional tectoni...
Article
Field sea-level data are generally only of local value, being affected by a complex of local, regional and global processes which operate on different time and space scales. Averages or compilations of focal sea-level data may lead therefore to misleading estimations of global sea-level changes and be biased towards predominant factors which are ac...
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This paper is concerned with the tectonic trends that can be deduced from the Holocene raised shorelines between Ch'eng-kung and Hsin-she, along a 65-km long coastal sector in the eastern Coastal Range of Taiwan. Sequences of up to eight superimposed shorelines have been identified in a single section. Twelve new radiocarbon dates (six of which wer...
Article
Marine sediments deposited some 14,000 years ago, when the sea level was between 80 and 100 m below the present sea level, have been found exposed at about 17 m in altitude near Tu-lan, on the east coast of Taiwan. This implies a minimum average uplift rate of 7.6 ± 0.9 mm/yr; similar values of tectonic uplift are not uncommon on the eastern Coasta...
Article
An exceptional sequence of raised coral reef terraces is visible at Cape Laundi, on the north coast of the island of Sumba, in the Savu Sea, in which at least eleven terraces wider than 100 m, six of them even being over half a kilometer wide, are geomorphologically distinguishable between an ancient patch reef now at +475 m and the present sea lev...
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Rurutu is a basaltic island surrounded by raised limestone blocks, reaching over 100 m in elevation, forming high vertical cliffs. Marine notches, cut on the cliffs at several levels, mark the position of former shorelines. Tubuai, located some 200 km east of Rurutu, is an island with low coasts only, suggesting a long-term slow subsidence. Marks o...
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The ongoing archaeological excavations that started in 1986 on the site of the harbor of Phalasarna have confirmed that the ancient port described as a closed harbor by ancient geographers is, due to the regional uplift of west Crete, now situated on dry land, about 6.6 m above sea level. In this paper, after summarizing the geological background,...
Article
In the Aegean region it is usually accepted that uplift is confined to the southern areas, near the outer island arc, whereas subsidence prevails in the inner basin areas. However, we give evidence of elevated notches and Lithophaga shells, dated by AMS C-14, showing that Holocene coseismic uplift of the order of about a metre occurred in inner Aeg...
Article
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The marks of two emerged shorelines (superimposed erosional notches, and in-situ bioconstructed rims with the vermetid Dendropoma) on both sides of the Orontes Delta, near the border between Turkey and Syria, are interpreted as representing the occurrence of two rapid uplifts during the late Holocene rather than representing eustatic fluctuations o...
Article
A spectacular sequence of coral-reef terraces (six steps broader than 500 meters and many minor substeps) is developed near Cape Laundi, Sumba Island, between an ancient patch reef 475 meters high and sea level. Several raised reefs have been dated with the electron spin resonance and the uranium-series dating methods. The uplift trend deduced from...
Chapter
Significant case studies of regional sea-level changes during the Holocene, extracted from part of a broader study, are considered. Some of them are compared to predictions obtained by global isostatic models.
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Petrological analysis and radiometric dating of samples collected from coral-rich conglomerates in two remote Seychelles atolls suggest differential emergence (1.2m in Farquhar, 0.8m in St. Joseph) since the almost simultaneous deposition of the conglomerate material, about one thousand years ago. This confirms that tectonically the Seychelles area...
Chapter
The present paper attempts to answer two questions: Is the global sea level rising, and how far? 2. Should we expect a global sea-level rise during the next century? The answer to the first question is yes; the sea level has risen since the end of the last century, but this rise has been two to three times less than what is generally reported in th...
Article
Past sea-level trends are dominated by global tectonics, geoid changes, eustasy and global isostatic adjustments. Most of these factors have a global impact, but at rates differing in time and place.Present sea-level variations are measured by tide-gauge recording, oceanographic measurements and satellites. Determination of the present (global) eus...
Article
Signs of up to eight stepped Holocene shorelines, which have been reported in a previous study on the east coast of Rhodes Island, have been reinvestigated in detail on the basis of a new geomorphological survey, identification and petrological analysis of many new samples of exposed marine organic crusts and over 30 radiocarbon datings.Confirmatio...
Chapter
Most of the tide-gauge stations still active, for which long series of almost continuous records are available, are located on both sides of the North Atlantic. Only records starting earlier than 1925 have been considered in this paper: 17 stations on the American side, and 58 on the European one. In addition records in the Bermudas starting in 193...
Article
Quaternary relative sea-level changes and geodynamics in French Polynesia - New sea-level data have been obtained in 28 atolls and 10 high volcanic islands in the Society, Tuamotu, Gambier and Austral Islands. Most islands are affected by a gradual long-term subsidence, and by a Holocene emergence of 0.85 m, which took place since 1500 yr BP. In tw...
Article
New data on Holocene sea levels have been obtained in 28 atolls and 10 high islands in the Society, Tuamotu, Gambier and Austral Islands, in an area of the South Pacific as wide as western Europe. Sea-level indicators are often very accurate (±0.1 m) and include exposed corals, abandoned algal ridges and reef frameworks in growth position, emerged...
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New sea-level data for the late Holocene period are reported from twelve atolls of the Tuamotu archipelago: Faaite, Hikueru, Marokau, Hao, Amanu, Tatakoto, Pukarua, Nukutavake, Vairaatea, Tureia, Nukutipipi, and Hereheretue. The data come from coral conglomerate outcrops, coral colonies in growth position, in situ reef framework and marine notches;...
Article
The 4–5 m high raised reefs in Anaa Atoll certainly date back to the last interglacial age. The Holocene reefs, which have yielded dates between 3200 and 2000 yrs B.P., are slightly more elevated than in other Tuamotu atolls, and appear to be rising at a relative rate of about 0.1 mm yr−1. This rising trend of the island is recent and may be the re...
Article
Preliminary quantitative data are provided on the latest stage of development and morphological evolution of the closed atoll Vahitahi, in the eastern Tuamotus.From before 4300 to at least 2400 yrs B.P. sea level was at least 0.7 m higher than at present. During this time the development of a flat reef pavement, now slightly emerged, gradually sepa...
Article
A systematic reconnaissance of the Gambier Islands and Temoe Atoll did not find any evidence of the emerged Pleistocene shorelines reported by some authors. On the other hand there is abundant evidence of a sea level stand about 1 m higher than at present since at least 4000 yr BP. About 950 yr BP sea level was still at least 0.6 m above the presen...
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Cette étude, menée aux îles Gambier et à l'atoll de Temöe, a permis de déterminer, grâce aux analyses pétrographiques et aux datations radiométriques, les variations du niveau marin au cours du Quaternaire
Chapter
The descriptive terms infralittoral, midlittoral (tidal and surf-) and supralittoral are used to classify sea-corrosion notches, according to their elevation relative to sea-level at the time of formation. On limestone coasts, tidal notches are the most common and most useful sea-level indicators. Possible causes and rates of undercutting are summa...
Article
Fossil intertidal barnacles are excellent indicators of recnet sea-level stands, even those of short duration, especially on elevated rocky coasts. This paper deals with problems related to finding, sampling, cleaning, dating and interpreting the altimetric significance of fossil barnacle samples collected in a living position. The distribution and...
Article
Emerged marine notches, hermatypic and autochthonous coral reefs, beach rocks, and fossil intertidal barnacles collected in a living position at the level of the notches, have revealed that a sudden uplift movement, reaching approx. 2.5 m in Central and South Okinawa, was caused by a major earthquake about 2400 years ago. This uplift was the result...