<p>Sedimentation processes occurring in the most recent maar lake of the French Massif Central (Lake Pavin) are documented for the first time based on high resolution seismic reflection and multibeam bathymetric surveys and by piston coring and radiocarbon dating on a sediment depocentre developed on a narrow sub aquatic plateau. This new data set confirms the mid Holocene age of maar lake Pavin formation at 6970 +/- 60 yrs cal BP and highlights a wide range of gravity reworking phenomena affecting the basin. In particular, a slump deposit dated between AD 580-640 remoulded both mid-Holocene lacustrine sediments, terrestrial plant debris and some volcanic material from the northern crater inner walls. Between AD 1200 and AD 1300, a large slide scar mapped at 50 m depth also affected the southern edge of the sub aquatic plateau, suggesting that these gas-rich biogenic sediments (laminated diatomite) are poorly stable. Although several triggering mechanisms can be proposed for these prehistoric sub-aquatic mass wasting deposits in Lake Pavin, we argue that such large remobilisation of gas-rich sediments may affect the gas stability in deep waters of meromictic maar lakes. This study highlights the need to further document mass wasting processes in maar lakes and their impacts on the generation of waves, favouring the development of dangerous (and potentially deadly) limnic eruptions.</p>
Chapron, E. Alberic, P. Jezequel, D. Versteeg, W. Bourdier, J-L Sitbon, J.