Stepped Holocene sea-level rise and its influence on sedimentation in a large marine embayment: Maputo Bay, Mozambique

Ander De Lecea, Andy Green, Kate Strachan, Andrew Cooper, Errol Wiles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The sedimentary record in large marine embayments holds important information on Holocene environmental and sea-level changes. This paper investigates the evolution of a large subtropical marine embayment, Maputo Bay, in southern Mozambique. Using a combination of sediment cores, stable isotope data, seismic reflection profiling and 14C dating, we show complex back-barrier changes during the Holocene and link these to stepped rises in sea level. Our data reveal a sea-level “slowstand” followed by an abrupt rise that we correlate with the 8.2 ka global rise in sea level. Sedimentological, isotope and seismic evidence point to a subsequent slowstand interspersed by two punctuated rises in sea level that formed clear tidal ravinement surfaces. Sedimentary changes in the embayment are primarily forced by sea-level change, whereby tidal ravinement surfaces sandwich normal regressive packages formed via marginal progradation and shallowing of the system during “slow-” or still-stands. Large marine embayment systems hold great potential in unravelling relative sea-level change. Axiomatically, this reduces their utility as archives of climate-change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-36
Journalestuarine, coastal and shelf science
Volume193
Early online date19 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Holocene
  • Environmental changes
  • Stratigraphy
  • Shoreline progradation
  • Stepped sea-level rise
  • 8.2 ka event

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