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May, S.M., Vött, A., Brückner, H., Brockmüller, S.. Evidence of tsunamigenic impact on Actio headland near Preveza, NW Greece. In: Gönnert, G., Pflüger, B., Bremer, J.-A. (eds.). Von der Geoarchäologie über die Küstendynamik zum Küstenzonenmanagement. Coastline Reports (9), pp. 115-125. EUCC - The Coastal Union, Leiden, 2007.


The coastal zone north and east of Lefkada city, NW Greece, has been affected by several tsunami events during the late Holocene. In 2006 and 2007, numerous vibracores were retrieved from south of Preveza Strait in search of tsunamigenic influence on the Actio area, including the nearby ancient sanctuary of Apollo. Underwater surveys of the Plaka, a partly submerged palaeo coastline made up of beachrock, were realized by means of scuba diving. This study presents results of selected vibracores from the southern and northern parts of Actio headland. The geomorphological underwater survey of the Plaka revealed ridges of isolated beachrock fragments as well as numerous separate blocks und boulders east of the in-situ Plaka. These findings indicate block dislocation by wave action and are related to tsunami impact. Moreover, sediments of shallow marine origin were detected in ~7 m a.s.l. in the north-eastern part of the Bay of Aghios Nikolaos, also pointing to tsunamigenic origin. Vibracores drilled on Actio headland show a sudden input of unsorted marine sediments into limnic and terrestrial environments. The two sedimentary units are separated by erosional unconformities indicating high energy wave activity with erosive effects. In conjunction with results of previous studies in the area between Aghios Nikolaos and Lefkada, the abrupt change of sedimentation dynamics can be attributed to at least one major tsunami event. According to 14C-AMS datings of plant remains and molluscs from several vibracores a major tsunami impact happened around or after 1300 cal BC. Our findings reflect the high vulnerability of the Lefkada coastal zone which attracts thousands of tourists and hosts an important NATO airport nearby.

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