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Sea level changes during the last and present interglacials in Sal Island (Cape Verde archipelago)

Zazo Cardeña , Caridad and Goy Goy, José Luis and Hillaire-Marcel, Claude and Dabrio, Cristino J. and González Delgado, José Ángel and Cabero del Río, Ana and Bardají Azcárate, Teresa and Ghaleb, Bassam and Soler Javaloyes, Vicente (2010) Sea level changes during the last and present interglacials in Sal Island (Cape Verde archipelago). Global and Planetary Change, 72 . pp. 302-317. ISSN 0921-8181

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Abstract

Last interglacial and Holocene deposits are particularly well developed in the southern parts of Sal Island (Cape
Verde Archipelago). They primarily consist of low-elevation (≤2 m above sea level [a.s.l.]) marine deposits
made of a basal conglomerate embedded in carbonate mud, passing upwards to calcarenites. All deposits
contain an abundant fauna with corals, algae and molluscs with Strombus latus Gmelin and accompanying
warm water species of the “Senegalese” fauna. Small scale geomorphological mapping with detailed
morphosedimentary analysis revealed lateral facies changes and imbricate (offlapping) structures that suggest
small-scale oscillations of paleo-sealevels during high sea stand intervals. U-series measurements (in coral
fragments) allowed unequivocal identification of Marine Isotope Substage (MIS) 5.5 units, but were not
precise enough to date the sea level oscillations of the interval. However, geomorphological data and
sedimentary facies analysis suggest a double sea level highstand during the peak of the last interglacial.
MIS 5.5 age deposits occur at Sal and the Canary Islands at low topographic elevations, between 1 and 2 masl.
However, these values are lower than the elevations measured for the correlative terraces outcropping at the
western tropical Atlantic islands, widely considered to be tectonically stable.
Combining the results in this paper with earlier investigations of the “Senegalese” fauna distribution as far
north as the Mediterranean basin, it is suggested that the last-interglacial oceanic temperatures in this basin, as
well as the temperatures in other islands of the Eastern Atlantic and the coasts of Morocco, were warmer than
modern temperatures.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Eastern Atlantic, Last interglacial, Holocene, Marine terrace, Barrier island, Sea level
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Stratigraphic geology
ID Code:15702
Deposited On:20 Jun 2012 10:50
Last Modified:20 Jun 2012 10:50

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