Bathymetry of the Adriatic Sea: The legacy of the last eustatic cycle and the impact of modern sediment dispersal

The Istituto di Scienze Marine (ISMAR-CNR) has conducted several research projects on the Italian side of the Adriatic Sea over more than 15 years, collecting bathymetric, geophysical and sediment core data to perform multidisciplinary studies of modern sediment dynamics and of past environmental changes during the last eustatic cycle. A crucial step in this direction was the construction of a detailed bathymetry, a time-consuming task due to the extensive shallow water portion of the basin. Given the setting of the Adriatic Sea and the long-lasting research effort, the bathymetric map is necessarily based on heterogeneous data with uneven spatial distribution of Single-Beam echo-soundings. The main objective of this work is to illustrate the methodology applied to compile the bathymetric map of the west side of the Adriatic Sea at basin scale (1:750,000) and to describe the main morphological units that characterise the seafloor and reflect its main geological features. This bathymetry can also be used in oceanographic modelling both at regional and local scale, focussing on the interaction between bottom currents and seafloor morphology.