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Book Chapter

Sea-Level Change and the Preservation Potential of Wave-Dominated and Tide-Dominated Coastal Sequences

By
Richard A. Davis, JR.
Richard A. Davis, JR.
Department of Geology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33620
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H. Edward Clifton
H. Edward Clifton
U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, California 94025
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Published:
January 01, 1987

Abstract:

The relative change in sea level and the rate of sediment input determine the character and the preservation potential of most coastal sequences, although wave and tidal energy, and geomorphic and geologic setting must also be considered. Progradational (regressive) coastal deposits are more likely to be fully preserved than those of transgressive coasts. Modern progradational coasts include numerous wave-dominated examples, (e.g., the Nayarit coast of Mexico, the Georgia Bight, and the Washington coast near the mouth of the Columbia River), and a few tide-dominated examples (e.g., the German Bight). In either situation, fairly complete shallowing-upward sequences of subtidal to supratidal facies are preserved, because the sedimentation rate exceeds dispersal by wave and/or tidal energy and the effect of rising or falling sea level.

Transgressive sequences, which form where relative sea-level rise exceeds net sediment accumulation, differ in degree of preservation. Wave-dominated transgressive systems include the present coast of Delaware and the outer banks of North Carolina. The Colorado River delta in the Gulf of California represents a tide-dominated transgressive coast. Under wave-dominated conditions, slow transgression with abundant sediment input and moderate or low-incident energy will allow much of the sequence to be preserved. A transgressive tide-dominated coast that is associated with low sediment influx from land is characterized by shoreward transport of subtidal sediment over the pre-existing facies. Present coastal conditions also produce geographically juxtaposed progradational and transgressive sequences, as on drumstick barriers. Such situations would generate a complicated stratigraphic record.

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Contents

SEPM Special Publication

Sea-Level Fluctuation and Coastal Evolution

Dag Nummedal
Dag Nummedal
Department of Geology and Geophysics Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Orrin H. Pilkey
Orrin H. Pilkey
Department of Geology Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
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James D. Howard
James D. Howard
Skidaway Institute of Oceanography Savannah, Georgia
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
41
ISBN electronic:
9781565760950
Publication date:
January 01, 1987

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