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Calcasieu Lake records a Holocene history of dramatic environmental change. The changes resulted in up to 20–30 km of landward translation of deltaic and estuarine depositional environments, and intervening periods of delta progradation, from 9600 cal B.P. to 1600 cal yr B.P. The sediments preserved beneath the lake record a series of back-stepping events. Seven events that affected the entire estuary are recognized: at 8900–8500 cal yr B.P., 8300–8000 cal yr B.P., 8000–7900 cal yr B.P., 7200 cal yr B.P., 5800–5600 cal yr B.P., 2000–2800 cal yr B.P., and 2500–1800 cal yr B.P. Only one of these events (8200 cal yr B.P.) can be linked to a known eustatic event that is also associated with climate change.

The Calcasieu system maintained a bay-head delta within the present-day lake during a period of relatively rapid eustatic sea-level rise (10,000–6000 cal yr B.P.). It was only after 3000 cal yr B.P. that a bay-head delta was not present in the modern Calcasieu Lake. This strongly suggests a climate–sediment supply control. Lower estuary tidal delta and inlet facies indicate restricted estuarine circulation since ca. 2800 cal yr B.P.

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