Abstract

Holocene limestones on North Bimini and Joulter Cays (Bahamas) reveal sedimentary structures that are directly comparable to structures in the modern beach environment. A complete sequence comprises shallow subtidal, intertidal, and supratidal deposits. Holocene and equivalent modern sedimentary features are found on more or less the same topographic levels. Freshwater cementation (phreatic and vadose) takes place after accretion and progradation of the shore. Subsequent erosion exposes the consolidated sediments. Secondary cementation in the intertidal zone leads to beachrock formation. Continued erosion may break off blocks of beachrock and cliffs, which will be incorporated into the basal part of the sequence during a new phase of progradation. A freshwater-cemented sequence going from shallow subtidal to supratidal and eolian deposits does not, therefore, necessarily imply sea-level changes, but can be created by a cycle of progradation, cementation, and erosion.

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