Biogeochemical assessments of possible tsunami deposits in a semi-dry lagoon at Patara, SW Turkey

Ünlü S., ALPAR Ş. B., Altınok Y., Yaltırak C., Özer N., Akçer S.

33rd International Geological Congress (33IGC, Norway, 1 - 04 August 2008, pp.1341717

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Country: Norway
  • Page Numbers: pp.1341717
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Tsunami deposits along the Mediterranean coasts of Turkey are not well documented, because the
landscape has a low preservation potential for 'event deposits'. One of the most popular beaches of
the eastern Mediterranean Sea is the Patara delta beach, which is named after a famous ancient city,
at southern Turkey. It is about 12.3 km long between two capes, named NW and SW Inceburun,
flanked by the Babada (1969 m) and Dumanlýda (1956 m) mountains, respectively. Its modern beach
has a swash zone and backshore sub-environments. Backshore areas, between shoreline and sand
dunes, are generally uncovered by vegetation and ranges mostly between 50 and 150 meters. The
delta beach is built up by a combination of physical processes, the fluvial and terrigenous input of the
Eþen River and the longshore wave and current regimes of the sea. The Eþen River transports only
relatively finer-grained sediments into the sea, because a narrow pass trap coarser-grained sediments
in the upper and middle reaches of the river bed and prevent them to be transported into the Patara
plain. It is well known that the city Patara was the largest and most important harbor and played a
major role in the ancient Lycian civilization. The harbor was still active as a small estuary at the end
XVth century. Today the area of the ancient harbor is covered by a semi-dry lagoon covered by reeds.
Biogeochemical assessments of possible tsunami deposits in a semi-dry lagoo... Sayfa 1 / 2
file://H:\33IGC\1341717.html 17.08.2008
In order to investigate tsunami related deposit preserved in this semi-dry lagoon behind the Patara
delta beach, engine core studies were performed. Core samples have been subjected to GC/MS and
FTIR analyses for biogeochemical assessments. Marine-sourced organic matters (e.g. lipid
components, sterols and long chain ketones), geochemical properties (e.g. microbial signatures and
algal remains), presence of marine biomarkers (e.g. 24-n-propylcholestane, multibranched acyclic
C20 and C25 hydrocarbons) and deterministic ratios (e.g. abundance of S-containing compounds vs.
pristane:phytane ratio) have been defined. The samples were collected within the scope of EU FP6
TRANSFER project (Tsunami Risk ANd Strategies For the European Region).