Abstract

Work on new cores from old core sites in Baie Verte, New Brunswick, led to the identification of submerged salt-marsh peats, reported earlier as freshwater ones. A comprehensive sea-level curve, between 9 and 15 m below present, is based on marsh foraminiferal assemblages. These data indicate that between 4500 and 5400 BP relative sea-level (RSL) rise was comparatively slow (about 10 cm/100 years); the rate increased dramatically between 4500 and 4000 BP (1 m/100 years) and decreased between 2000 and 4000 BP to its present rate of 15 cm/100 years. We suggest RSL was falling before 5400 BP and that the sequence in our deepest core is similar to some observed in the Bay of Fundy and Nova Scotian Atlantic coast where early RSL fall is documented. To account for this sea-level record and others nearby we suggest that the ice history here is complex, with three separate ice caps thinning towards this area in late glacial times.Earlier work also indicated a number of sediment sequences barren of benthonic foraminifera, suggesting a complex marine–freshwater history for the area. The study of new cores containing the same sequences indicates no barren zones but a simple transgressive sequence with a warm-water calcareous fauna followed by an agglutinated transitional estuarine foraminiferal fauna.

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