Did the Younger Dryas to Holocene climate transition favour high seismicity rates in the north-western Alps ? - Centre Alpin de Recherche sur les Réseaux Trophiques et Ecosystèmes Limniques Access content directly
Journal Articles Sedimentology Year : 2023

Did the Younger Dryas to Holocene climate transition favour high seismicity rates in the north-western Alps ?

Manon Bajard
  • Function : Author
Vincent Bichet
Sylvain Clapot
  • Function : Author

Abstract

In the French north-western Alps, several lakes of glacial origin, such as Aiguebelette and La Thuile, present some mass-transport deposits within their sedimentary sequences. These event layers can result from lake sediment destabilization eventually triggered by earthquakes. On Lake Aiguebelette, based on sedimentological, geochemical and magnetic analyses, and high-resolution seismic and bathymetric surveys a ca 1 m thick event layer was identified in the deepest lake basin and a synchronous ca 2 cm thick deposit in the shallow basin. Age-depth models based on radiocarbon ages reveal that both mass-transport deposits in Lake Aiguebelette occurred around the Younger Dryas - Early Holocene climatic transition (i.e. 11 700 cal bp) time range. In Lake La Thuile, located 30 km away, unique mass-transport deposits (translational slide type) were recorded at the same time range in sedimentary records. Additionally, high-resolution seismic profiles previously acquired in Lake Annecy and Lake Bourget support the hypothesis of significant mass-transport deposits occurring at the Younger Dryas - Early Holocene time range. These outcomes on four north-western peri-Alpine and Alpine lakes highlight the regional occurrence of mass-transport deposits in the Younger Dryas - Early Holocene time range. Seismic and rockfall events are discussed as potential sources of these significant and similarly aged mass-transport deposits. Based on this study and a literature review, the authors suggest that mechanisms induced by rapid climate change and glacial retreat, such as crustal rebound and erosional unloading, could favour the triggering of earthquakes and rockfall events. In the case of mass-transport deposits archived in north-western Alpine lakes during this time period, this study favours the hypothesis of increased seismicity as the primary source driving process involved.
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hal-04032433 , version 1 (16-03-2023)

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Mathilde Banjan, Christian Crouzet, Pierre Sabatier, Jomard Hervé, Manon Bajard, et al.. Did the Younger Dryas to Holocene climate transition favour high seismicity rates in the north-western Alps ?. Sedimentology, 2023, 70 (2), pp.538-568. ⟨10.1111/sed.13050⟩. ⟨hal-04032433⟩
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