Volume 39, Issue 4, April 2012, Pages 884–895
Due to the direct relationship between their function and ancient sea levels, Roman fish tanks and fish traps are excellent indicators for sea level changes through time. For this study, eleven submerged systems of fish tanks were investigated along the rocky southern coast of the gulf of Matala, Crete. Seven of them are still in a good state of preservation and thus underwent detailed survey and documentation. The measurements of their recent submersion, the determination of the way they operated, as well as their correlation with coastal landforms indicative of an older sea level, permit the identification of a mean Roman sea level at the SW coast of central Crete 1.25 m below the present one. According to historical evidence, the submersion of the SW coasts of the central part of Crete must have been occurred between 1415 and 1865 during a paroxysmal tectonic event and is probably related with the strong earthquake of 1604.
► Survey of 7 submerged roman fish tank complexes in the gulf of Matala, Crete, Greece. ► The submersion, according to historical evidence, is connected with the 1604 earthquake. ► Determination of a 1st and 2nd century AD sea level 1.25 m lower than the present one. ► Identification of the boundary between submerged and uplifted coasts of Crete. ► The total differential vertical tectonic movements of the tectonic blocks is 2.20 m.
- Roman fish tanks;
- Matala gulf;
- Sea level change;
- Coastal neotectonic deformation;