Middle Pleistocene glaciation, alluvial fan development and sea-level changes in the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Kathryn Adamson, Jamie Woodward, Philip Hughes, Federico Giglio, Fabrizio Del Bianco

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A coarse-grained alluvial fan at Lipci in the Bay of Kotor, western Montenegro, was deposited in the Middle Pleistocene by a high energy, steep gradient proglacial stream draining an outlet glacier on the Orjen Massif. Today the fan apex is about 50 m above sea level but the majority (c. 60 %) of this landform now lies offshore. Field mapping, sedimentological analysis, and uranium–series dating have been combined with marine bathymetric survey and seismic profiling to explore the morphology and history of the entire fan complex. Lipci fan was deposited on the margin of a large polje downstream of moraines that formed during the Middle Pleistocene (MIS 12). During the glacial stages of the Middle Pleistocene, sea level may have been more than 120 m lower than present. The sediments on the terrestrial portion of the fan are strongly cemented by secondary calcite and the oldest uranium-series ages show that the fan was deposited before 320 ka. These ages are consistent with a larger uranium-series dataset (n=39) from other glacial and glaciofluvial formations surrounding Mount Orjen. Seismic profiling of the submerged portion of the fan in the Bay of Kotor shows well preserved palaeochannels with inset terraces. The Lipci fan is unusual because even its distal segments are well-preserved after exposure to multiple post-MIS12 regression/transgression cycles. This is probably due to strong cementation of the fan sediments and its sheltered location in the Bay of Kotor.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuaternary Glaciation in the Mediterranean Mountains
EditorsPhilip Hughes, J.C. Woodward
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherGeological Society
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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