Evelpidou, N.; Pirazzoli, P.A., and Spada, G., 2015. Origin and Holocene evolution of a slightly submerged tidal notch in the NE Adriatic.
A puzzling, slightly submerged, single tidal notch has been reported from the carbonate coasts of the northeastern Adriatic Sea. This paper attempts to explain the origin and the recent evolution of this marine erosion feature and the reasons for its uniqueness in the late Holocene. After reviewing how tidal notches are usually formed, a comparison of recent measurements of bioerosion rates carried out in the area show that when the contribution of dissolution processes can be neglected, bioerosion rates of the deepening of tidal-notch profiles appear to be very low (often <0.1 mm/y) along the coasts of Istria, in contrast to higher rates (between 0.2 and 1.0 mm/y) generally reported in other Mediterranean areas. Such a low rate of bioerosion implies a long period favourable to tidal-notch development. Several glacial isostatic adjustment computations show that relative sea level changes in the area during the last few millennia may correspond to a period of equilibrium between the regional tectonic subsidence and hydro-isostatic emergence during which relative sea level changes were limited, permitting development of the tidal notch observed. The submergence of the notch is consistent with a coseismic subsidence in late Roman time. After this, a new tidal notch could not form at the present sea level because of the limited amount of local bioerosion and the relatively large rate of sea level rise.