The case for a mega-tsunami in the Mediterranean about 80ka ago | 12 Jan 2019 | Nottingham

East Midlands Geological Society
Professor Jim Rose
Nottingham University - 6pm

A large number of sites around the coast of the Mediterranean show a repetitive succession with a very conspicuous boulder-bed sandwiched between underlying deposits and soils of the Last Interglacial, and overlying sediments from the time of the Last Glaciation and Holocene/Anthropocene. These boulders are being interpreted as the products of a meg-tsunami because they are found at all types of coastal location, both exposed and sheltered, and require a very powerful process to emplace them around the coast. Dating by a number of methods indicates an age of the boulder-bed at around 80 ka.

In addition, conspicuous polygonal patterns are formed in beach-rock below the boulder-bed. These polygons have a typical diameter of 1.2m and a typical depth of 1.5m. They are infilled with a sandy diamict and calcrete. The origin of the polygons is far from clear, but desiccation or shock-induced packing/dilation are considered to be possible explanations.

In this lecture Professor Jim Rose would like to present the evidence described above and evaluate the reasoning behind my interpretations, along with a consideration of the cause of the event and the consequences for landscape change with particular reference to the present Mediterranean coastline. Professor Jim Rose would also like to engage those attending the lecture with the mechanisms proposed and see whether the propositions can withstand scrutiny and challenge.

More information


12 January 2019 18:00


11 January 2019