Bell, R.E., McNeill, L.C., Bull, J.M., Henstock, T.J., Collier, R.E.L. and Leeder, M.R.
Fault architecture, basin structure and evolution of the Gulf of Corinth Rift, central Greece
Basin Research, 21, (6), . (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2117.2009.00401.x).
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The style of extension and strain distribution during the early stages of intra- continental rifting is
important for understanding rift-margin development and can provide constraints for lithospheric
deformation mechanisms.The Corinth rift in centralGreece is one of the few rifts to have
experienced a short extensional history without subsequent overprinting.We synthesise existing
seismic re£ection data throughout the active o¡shoreGulf of Corinth Basin to investigate fault
activity history and the spatio-temporal evolution of the basin, producing for the ¢rst time basement
depth and syn-rift sediment isopachs throughout the o¡shore rift. A major basin-wide unconformity
surface with an age estimated from sea-level cycles at ca. 0.4Ma separates distinct seismic
stratigraphic units. Assuming that sedimentation rates are on average consistent, the present rift
formed at 1^2Ma, with no clear evidence for along- strike propagation of the rift axis.The rift has
undergone major changes in relative fault activity and basin geometry during its short history.
The basement depth is greatest in the central rift (maximum 3 km) and decreases to the east and
west. In detail however, two separated depocentres 20^50 km long were created controlled byN- and
S-dipping faults before 0.4Ma, while since ca. 0.4Ma a single depocentre (80 km long) has been
controlled by several connectedN-dipping faults, with maximum subsidence focused between the
two older depocentres.Thus isolated but nearby faults can persist for timescales ca.1Ma and form
major basins before becoming linked.There is a general evolution towards a dominance ofN-dipping
faults; however, in the westernGulf strain is distributed across several activeN- and S-dipping faults
throughout rift history, producing a more complex basin geometry.
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