The geomorphology and sedimentology of five tsunamis in the Aegean Sea region, Greece
This dissertation presents the detailed results of investigations of the geomorphological and sedimentary processes associated with five Holocene tsunamis reported to have occurred in the Aegean Sea region of Greece. This research considers the effects of the widely quoted and archeologically important Minoan tsunami of the 17th century B.C.; the central southern Aegean tsunami of 66 A.D.; a hugely destructive tsunami reported to have followed a massive earthquake on the 21st July 365 A.D.; a tsunami of volcanic origin which affected the island of Thira on 29th September 1650 A.D.; and the destructive southern Aegean tsunami of 9th July 1965 A.D. The last account is believed to be the first systematic investigation of the geomorphology and sedimentology of a modern Aegean tsunami. This research is primarily concerned with the investigation of Holocene coastal sedimentary sequences in order to identify any geological traces of the former tsunamis and it is hoped that this evidence can be used to supplement the fragmentary historic accounts. This dissertation also considers whether microfossils can be used in the identification of individual stratigraphic horizons associated with tsunami-deposited sediments and investigates whether it is possible to determine the generative origins of individual tsunamis on the basis of the sediments associated with them. Whilst the findings of this research are not intended to provide a definitive account of the tsunamis considered, they do provide important evidence where the prevailing geological conditions of the Aegean Sea region would otherwise combine to limit the data available. Furthermore, it is believed that the results of this investigation do contribute to existing knowledge and will be of value to archaeologists seeking to explore the relationships between archaeological sites, landscape evolution and environmental change.