Holocene Beach Ridges and Coastal Evolution in the Cabo Raso Bay (Atlantic Patagonian Coast, Argentina)

Ribolini, Adriano; Aguirre, Marina; Baneschi, Ilaria; Consoloni, Ilaria; Fucks, Enrique; Isola, Ilaria; Mazzarini, Francesco; Pappalardo, Marta; Zanchetta, Giovanni; Bini, Monica
September 2011
Journal of Coastal Research;Sep2011, Vol. 27 Issue 5, p973
Academic Journal
The Holocene evolution of the Cabo Raso bay (Atlantic Patagonian coast) was reconstructed by means of geomorphological, stratigraphic, and palaeontological analyses, assisted by radiocarbon dating. Six beach ridges were individuated and mapped in the field, as well as some rocky erosional landforms, e.g., inner margins of marine terraces. Thanks to quarry sections, the internal structure of beach ridges, their relationship with continental deposits, and the fossil contents were determined. Two specimens of Aulacomya atra and Brachidontes purpuratus were radiocarbon dated at 6055 and 4500 6± 20 YBP, respectively. The bedrock outcrops at the base of an analysed section allowed us to associate the age of the samples collected to the elevation of the marine transgression surface upon which the entire deposit rests. Because a beach ridge is a regressive form, the elevation of the base of the dated deposit was assumed to be equivalent to or slightly lower than the maximum sea-level stationing, represented by the inner margin of the coheval marine terrace. The altimetric correlation between the base of the beach ridge dated at 6055 ± 20 YBP and the inner margin of the corresponding marine terraces allowed us to constrain the maximum Holocene marine transgression to about 3 to 2 m above sea level. This elevation for the maximum Holocene transgression is lower than that shown by most of the previous data for Patagonian coast, but it shows a crude agreement with recent estimates coming from geophysical models that report, for this area, a departure from the eustatic value of sea level, mainly caused by glacioisostatic process. This means that the employment of marine erosional landforms, associated with other multisource field data, proved to be determinant for reconstructing the sea-level variation in the Patagonian coast.


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