The Gulf of Corinth is an active 950m deep graben structure occupying the northernmost part of the Plio-Quaternary Corinth rift (Brooks and Ferentinos 1984; Stefatos at al 2002). (Fig1.1) The present day gulf occupies about 2.400km2 of approximately 4100 km2 that corresponds to the area extent of the Corinth rift.
   The Corinth rift is a topographic depression trending WNW-ESE across the NNW-SSE trending fabric of the Hellenic mountain belt, which includes Mesozoic and Tertiary rocks (Fig 1.1)
   The Corinth rift was formed around middle Pliocene due to a N-S/NNE-SSW directed extension caused by: (i) the westward motion of the Anatolian Plate (Taymaz at al 1991; Le Pichon at al 1995) or (ii) the arc-normal pull acting on the Aegean plate margin (Hatzfeld at al 1997) or (iii) a combination of both mechanics (Doutsos & Kokkalas 2001).
   A series of en-echelon normal fault segments bound the rift along the southern border. These fault segments with lengths between 15 and 25km have an average strike of WNW-ESE direction and a northward dip (Doutsos & Poulimenos 1992; Sorel 2000) (Fig 1.1)
   They are listric faults forming a low angle detachment zone dipping at about 15o that cuts obliquely to the north through the nappe pile of the Hellenides (Fig 1.2) (Doutsos & Poulimenos 1992; Sorel 2000)
   These faults were active in the early rifting stage, then steeper faults formed successively northwards, as the southern part of the detachment became inactive. The younger faults have steeper plannes dipping northwards between 40o and 60o and reach depths of about 10 to 12km where they root the low angle detachment zone (Sorel 2000). (Fig 1.2)
   The entire southern part of the Corinth rift, a 25km wide zone south of the Gulf of Corinth, has been uplifted since the early Pleistocene. (Fig 1.1) The uplift may be related either to underplating of sediments in the Hellenic Trench (Le Pichon & Angelier 1981 Hatzfeld et al 1989) or to footwall uplift adjacent to a major normal fault (Jackson at al 1982 a, b) or both.
   The older rift fill is middle to late Pliocene lacustrine and fluvial sand silts. These are overlain by thick Quaternary conglomerates which have prograded northward forming Gilbert-type fan-deltas and are interbedded with marls which contain nannofossil assemblages corresponding to middle Pleistocene isotopic stage 12 or younger, that is younger, than 450 ka. (Doutsos et al 1988; Doutsos and Piper 1990).
   The marls are overlain either unconformably or conformably, by shallow marine or fluvial sandstones and or conglomerates with a thickness less than 30m, forming a “caprock” (Keraudren and Sorel 1987).
   The uplift has interacted with sea-level changes to produce α staircase morphology in the landscape defined by flat terraces climbing southwards (Keraudren and Sorel 1987; Doutsos and Piper 1990; Collier 1990 and Armijo at al 1996), (McNeill and Collier 2004, 2006) (McNeill and Collier 2004, McNeill et al 2006) (Fig.1.1).

  Fig. 1.1: Geological Map of Corinth Gulf.


Fig.1.2: North-south section along Krathis River(location in Fig. 1). 1: Lower to early- middle Pleistocene fan breccia. (Qbr:=Quaternary breccians) 2: Early Pleistocene to Holocene synrift deposits. 3: Pindos-Olonos napple (P/O): more than 500m of Senonian limestones. 4: Gavroro-Tripolitsanapple (G/T): as much as 1500m nonmetamorphic Mesozoic carbonates 5: Zarouchla Group: mainly epimetamorphic schists. 6: Stratigraphic contact 7:Alpine thrusts or locked normal faults. 8:Locked Khelmos detachment 9: Active Helike fault, propably connected to seismic detachment beneath gulf. 10: Dashed line is profile of Krathis River.




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