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Continuous resistivity profiling survey in Mersin Harbour, Northeastern Mediterranean Sea

OKYAR, Mahmut
Tezcan, Devrim
Cavas, Hakan
No detailed information has previously been available on the geological and geophysical characteristics of the sea floor and the underlying strata of Mersin Harbour, Northeastern Mediterranean Sea (Turkey). Continuous resistivity profiling (CRP) and borehole data from Mersin Harbour were used to interpret geoelectric stratigraphy of Neogene-Quaternary sediments in the area. This represents one of few such detailed case studies that have applied these valuable CRP techniques for the purpose of marine stratigraphic imaging. It was found that the Neogene-Quaternary sedimentary succession in the area consists of three geoelectric units (GU1, GU2, and GU3 from base to top). The lowest unit, GU1, has a resistivity value of greater than 20.0 ohm-m and consists of Miocene aged limestone and marl. The middle unit, GU2, is characterized by resistivity values ranging from 3.0 to 20.0 ohm-m. Its thickness is greater than 90 m, with the upper section being composed of stiff clay sequences which are Plio-Pleistocene in age. The uppermost unit, GU3, has resistivity values varying from 1.0 to 3.0 ohm-m. This unit displays a maximum thickness of 15 m, and is composed of Holocene muds together with gravel, sand, silt and clay (sometimes incorporating shells) materials of the Plio-Pleistocene age and their various mixtures, silty/clay limestone, and conglomerate sandstone. Comparisons of the geoelectric units with the depositional sequences interpreted from the available seismic data outwith, but close to, Mersin Harbour reveal that the geoelectric unit GU3 corresponds to the depositional sequences C (mainly Holocene) and B (mainly Plio-Pleistocene). The geoelectric unit GU2 partly correlates with the depositional sequence B which appears to be Plio-Pleistocene in age. The geoelectric unit GU1, which has not been encountered in previous seismic surveys, is a new discovery within Mersin Harbour. Limited correlation between the seismic and resistivity structures in the study area is attributed to differences in the acoustic impedance and resistivity contrasts of sub-bottom layers, as well as the penetration versus resolution performance of the systems.