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Millennial/submillennial-scale sea-level fluctuations in western Mediterranean during the second highstand of MIS 5e

Dabrio, Cristino J. and Zazo Cardeña , Caridad and Cabero del Río, Ana and Goy Goy, José Luis and Bardají Azcárate, Teresa and Hillaire-Marcel, Claude and González Delgado, José Ángel and Lario Gómez, Javier and Silva Barroso, Pablo Gabriel and Borja, Francisco and García Blázquez, Ana María (2011) Millennial/submillennial-scale sea-level fluctuations in western Mediterranean during the second highstand of MIS 5e. Quaternary science review, 30 . pp. 335-346. ISSN 0277-3791

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Abstract

This paper investigates a series of small-scale, short-lived fluctuations of sea level registered in a prograding
barrier spit that grew during theMIS 5e. This interglacial includes three highstands (Zazo et al., 2003) and
we focus on the second highstand, of assumed duration ∼10 2 ka, given that UeTh ages do not provide
more accurate data. Geometry and 3D architecture of beach facies, and thin-section petrography were used
to investigate eight exposed offlapping subunits separated by seven conspicuous erosion surfaces, all
interpreted as the result of repeated small-scale fluctuations of sea level.
Each subunit records a relatively rapid rise of sea level that generated a gravelly shoreface with algal
bioherms and a sandy uppermost shoreface and foreshore where most sand accumulated. A second
range of still smaller-scaled oscillations of sea level has been deduced in this phase of sea-level fluctuation
from lateral and vertical shifts of the foreshore-plunge-step-uppermost shoreface facies.
Eventually, progradation with gently falling sea level took place and foreshore deposits underwent
successive vadose cementation and subaerial dissolution, owing to relatively prolonged exposure. Later
recovery of sea level re-established the highstand with sea level at approximately the same elevation,
and there began deposition of a new subunit. The minimum sea-level variation (fall and subsequent rise)
required to generate the observed features is 4 m. The time span available for the whole succession of
events, and comparison with the Holocene prograding beach ridge complex in the nearby Roquetas
(Almería) were used to calculate the periodicity of events. A millennial-suborbital time scale is suggested
for fluctuations separating subunits and a decadal scale for the minor oscillations inside each subunit.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Fluctuations of sea level; Interglacial
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Stratigraphic geology
Sciences > Geology > Geodynamics
ID Code:15767
Deposited On:28 Jun 2012 09:28
Last Modified:28 Jun 2012 09:28

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