Continental rifting is fundamental for the formation of ocean basins, and active rift zones are dynamic regions of high geohazard potential. This project proposes drilling within the active Corinth Rift, Greece where deformation rates are high, the syn-rift succession is preserved and accessible, and a dense, seismic database provides a high resolution fault network and seismic stratigraphy for the recent rift history.

The Corinth Rift offers access to sedimentary sequences that will enable an unprecedented level of precision of timing and spatial complexity of rift-fault system development and rift-controlled drainage system evolution in the first 1-2Myr of rift history. We propose to resolve at a high temporal and spatial resolution how faults evolve, how strain is (re-) distributed, and how the landscape responds within the first few Myrs in a non-volcanic continental rift, as modulated by Quaternary changes in sea level and climate.

A multidisciplinary approach to core sampling, integrated with log and seismic data, will generate a Quaternary chronology for the syn-rift stratigraphy down to orbital timescale resolutions and resolve the paleoenvironmental history of the basin in order to address the key objectives:

  • Fault and rift structural evolution in an active continental rift: To establish the distribution of tectonic strain in time and space and the timescales of fault evolution in a young rift at high resolution (20-50kyr and 1-10’s of kms). What are the controlling parameters on strain localization? How and when does a “mature” fault network emerge?
  • Surface processes in active rifts: To determine the evolution of a rift-controlled, closed drainage system in time and space at high temporal resolution (20-50kyr) and the relative impact of tectonics and climate on sediment flux.

IODP Proposal 879-Full: “Drilling the Corinth Rift: Resolving the detail of active rift development”