Perched salt marshes on a high energy coast: Implications for sea level reconstructions

Andrew Cooper, J Power

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Contemporary salt marsh deposits are described from elevations up to 9m above present sea level on a high wave-energy, mainly rocky coast in Northern Ireland. The salt marshes contain several distinctive salt marsh species including Juncus gerardii, Glaux maritima and Scirpus maritimus on a thin sandy substrate. Development of elevated or perched salt marshes is attributed to a combination of freshwater drainage and an impermeable substrate which creates waterlogged conditions, together with the frequent occurrence of salt spray which permits salt marsh halophytes to outcompete freshwater marsh plants. Although they are small in area, such marshes are fairly widespread in their distribution. The occurrence of these deposits at high elevations urges caution in the use of salt marsh deposits resting on bedrock as sea level indicators in such environmental settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-363
JournalJournal of Coastal Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2003


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