Abstract

Pollen data illustrating a 2000-year record of salt marsh development have been obtained from a variety of outer-estuarine settings in close proximity to the present gravel-dominated coastal barriers at Chezzetcook Inlet, Nova Scotia. The relationship between the biostratigraphic and lithostratigraphic data and relative-sea-level movement is complex. In the outer estuary, temporal and spatial changes to the floral and sedimentological composition of the salt marsh reflect principally processes of estuarine and back-barrier sedimentation that resulted in steep environmental gradients and the development of regressive marsh–sediment complexes, despite a relative-sea-level rise of up to 3.8 mm/a during the late Holocene. Our results contrast with those from the inner estuary at Chezzetcook Inlet, where salt marsh has developed only over the last 200 years as a result of sediment inwash due to European land use, and followed a prolonged episode (approx. 5000 years) of tidal flat conditions. This contrast highlights differences in sediment input and distribution between the outer and inner estuary.

You do not currently have access to this article.