Quaternary evolution of the Golo river alluvial plain (NE Corsica, France)

Stéphane Molliex*, Gwenael Jouet, Pierre Henri Blard, Julien Moreau, Julie Demartini, Joep E.A. Storms, Claude Vella, Aster Team

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The Golo River drains a steep catchment (average gradient of 30 m km−1, surface of 1214 km2) in the northeast part of Corsica Island, delivering sediments to the Ligurian Sea. In this study, we review and revise the geologic map and constrain the extent of the Golo coastal alluvial plain formations and their relative and absolute chronology. To update the surface extent of each formation, we performed a geomorphologic analysis with DEMs and satellite imagery data coupled with an extensive pedogenic and sedimentary field observations database, including a new borehole of 117,4 m depth. Additionally, we performed in-situ cosmogenic 10Be analysis from a depth-profile in the well-preserved alluvial terrace Fy2, yielding a minimum age of 70 ka for its emplacement. Our new chronology, based on cosmogenic 10Be and soil chronosequences, implies older ages than those previously obtained with luminescence methods. Soil mixing by bioturbation is proposed as a possibility to explain differences between luminescence and 10Be ages. In this scenario, 10Be dates the original deposition of the alluvial terrace, while luminescence dates a later soil development. We highlighted at least five outcropping alluvial terraces in the Golo coastal plain, which are controlled by sea-level fluctuations and were most likely deposited during past sea-level highstands (close to present-day sea-level). Moreover, we identified from a borehole more than 117 m of coarse fluvial sediments in the plain, that do not outcrop at the surface. New cosmogenic 26Al/10Be burial ages suggest that this sedimentary unit results from a thick accumulation of fluvial material filling a zone significantly affected by subsidence, probably accommodated by a normal fault during the Early Quaternary.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101115
Number of pages19
JournalQuaternary Geochronology
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Be depth-Profile
  • Alluvial plain
  • Corsica
  • Electric resistivity tomography
  • Geomorphology
  • Quaternary
  • Soil sequence chronology
  • Terraces


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