Geometries of Gilbert-type deltas and large channels in the Meteora Conglomerate, Meso-Hellenic basin (Oligo-Miocene), central Greece



The Meteora conglomerate is a thick, coarse-grained unit of Oligo-Miocene age in the Meso-Hellenic basin consisting of Gilbert-type delta deposits (wedge-shaped bodies) and deep channel fills. Gilbert-type deltas prograded from the eastern margin basinward, perpendicular to the NW-SE basin axis. Delta bodies are thicker in the distal portion, where the dip of the foresets is lower than in the proximal area. Organized and disorganized conglomerates coexist, suggesting a mixture of mass- and turbulent-flow processes. The mass flow deposits seem to prevail in the uppermost part of the foresets. Channels (up to 25 m deep) are cut into the Gilbert-type delta deposits, and have axes perpendicular to the progradational trend of the deltas. Giant bars displaying accretion of the downstream side formed inside the channels. The channels were probably cut into Gilbert-delta deposits due to uplift of the source area or to a fall in sea-level. Although large cross-sets of both Gilbert delta and channels have been formed by progradation, they can be distinguished by: (i) angle of foreset bed dips, (ii) facies and textures and (iii) vertical sequences. Differences in these features aid in distinguishing Gilbert-type deltas from in-channel bars.