Coastal lowland and floodplain evolution along the lower reaches of the Supsa River (western Georgia)
In the southernmost part of the Colchian plain (Georgia), the Supsa and Rioni rivers represent important catchments for reconstructing Holocene landscape changes. Using granulometric methods, geochemical analyses and radiocarbon dating, we demonstrate that significant palaeoenvironmental changes have taken place in the surroundings of the Supsa fan since at least 4000 BCE. The initial foothill fan accumulation was prolonged by delta plain progradation. Due to continued fluvial sediment supply, mainly from the Rioni, the lagoon silted up and extended peat bogs formed east of the beach ridge complex. The Supsa fan first prograded northwards (since the third millennium BCE) and later shifted westwards, eventually following an avulsion of the Rioni. While Supsa deposits remain limited to the area of the fan and the modern estuary, the alluvial fines of the Rioni dominate the surrounding areas. The relative sea-level (RSL) index points of the region suggest a gradual RSL rise from ∼-9 m between 4000 and 3500 BCE to −3/−2 m below the modern sea level in the second half of the first millennium BCE, the period during which Greek colonization and Colchian settlements are attested by archaeological remains.