Abstract : This work aimed at displaying and studying morphological and sedimentological features of Corsican seafloor from the coast to depths of -100m. It also aimed at a better knowledge of sediment dynamics under hydrodynamic conditions, and at a reconstitution of the late Quaternary shorelines evolution.
Careful analysis of the bathymetry has revealed a very contrasted morphology between the different areas of Corsican shelves, as it has been displayed on an synthetic geomorphological map.
In addition, an homogeneous and overall map of surficial sediments of the Corsican shelves seabed was established and two areas, the Balagne and Agriates' platforms to the North of Corsica, and the Bonifacio Straits to the South, were mapped into details. The various sedimentary facies that have been identified are characteristics of the NW Mediterranean shelves. The very thin cover of Holocene sediments and the high content of the organogenic fraction demonstrate low continental terrigenous supply. Moreover, this study shows that the sediment bedform types and distributions are closely linked to strong bottom currents in the Bonifacio Straits and to storms influence offshore Northern Corsica (Balagne).
New data on the evolution of the shoreline during late Quaternary are brought: major stillstands evidences of the Flandrian transgression that form a worldwide sequence, have been observed on the Corsican insular platform and an older submerged shoreline at -75m has been dated to 28,400 ± 300 years BP on the outer shelf of Agriates (N Corsica).