Along the rock coasts of the Gulf of La Spezia, which are characterised by a Mediterranean microtidal environment, a limited number of small rock platforms are scattered, constrained in elevation within 5 m above present-day sea level. This work deals with a number of these rock platforms, formed in different rock types (one in limestone and two in dolomite), that show differences in their morphology. This paper aims to provide a quantitative examination of why there are morphological differences between platforms in this region. To achieve this purpose, factors controlling platform morphology and the processes acting on them are investigated through a comparative analysis of rock strength. Rebound values, obtained testing rock surfaces with the Schmidt hammer, were compared between different platforms and between different sectors of the same platform. Each platform was subdivided into two parts based on visual difference in rock surface colour, characterised by differences in occurrence of weathering microforms and bioerosive agents. Rebound values in the lower part of the platforms proved to be lower than in the upper part, providing quantitative assessment of the occurrence of weathering acting to different extents in the upper and lower part of the shore platforms (weathering degraded rock strength in the lower part by about 15%). It was demonstrated that on the upper part of platforms, displaying moderate evidence of physical and biological weathering, lithology significantly influences the rock strength. On the portion of platforms closer to sea level, instead, differential exposure histories of the same rock type in the same environmental setting can yield statistically significant variations in rock strength values. Thus, it is clear that in the lower part of the investigated platforms, the degree of weathering has strong bearing on rock strength, and that variations in rock strength are not solely due to lithology. According to the results of this work, experimental values of rock strength of platforms in the study area depend both on the rock type and on physical weathering due to frequently repeated wetting and drying and bioerosion. Lithology is then an important factor controlling platform shape and weathering is an important process operating on them.
|Autori interni:||PAPPALARDO, MARTA|
|Autori:||Chelli A.; Pappalardo M; Arozarena Llopis I.; Federici PR|
|Titolo:||The relative influence of lithology and weathering in shaping shore platforms along the coastline of the Gulf of La Spezia (NW Italy) as revealed by rock strength|
|Anno del prodotto:||2010|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.12.011|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|