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Late Quaternary evolution and sea-level history of a glaciated marine embayment, Bantry Bay, SW Ireland

Plets, Ruth M.K.; Callard, S. Louise; Cooper, J. Andrew G.; Long, Antony J.; Quinn, Rory J.; Belknap, Daniel F.; Edwards, Robin J.; Jackson, Derek W.T.; Kelley, Joseph T.; Long, David; Milne, Glenn A.; Monteys, Xavier. 2015 Late Quaternary evolution and sea-level history of a glaciated marine embayment, Bantry Bay, SW Ireland. Marine Geology, 369. 251-272. 10.1016/j.margeo.2015.08.021

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Abstract/Summary

Ireland experienced a spatially complex pattern of relative sea-level (RSL) changes and shoreline development caused by the interplay of isostatic and eustatic (ice equivalent sea level) processes since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Using a combination of high-resolutionmarine geophysical data, vibrocores, foraminiferal analysis and 10 AMS radiocarbon dates, we reconstruct the Late Quaternary evolution and RSL history of Bantry Bay, a large (40 km long, 5–10 km wide) embayment in SW Ireland. The data indicate two infill phases: one before and one after the LGM, separated by glacial and lowstand sediments. The pre-LGM history is not dated and the depositional history is inferred. A large sediment lobe formed at the outer edge of Bantry Bay as a lowstand ice-proximal glacimarine outwash system as the ice retreated after the LGM, at a sea level ca. 80 m lower than present. Iceberg scour immediately west of this location likely relate to the break-up of the local Kerry–Cork Ice Cap. Long curvilinear ridges, seen both offshore and on top of the sediment lobe, probably formed as shoreface ridges under stronger-than-present tidal currents during a period of RSL stability (pre-14.6 ka cal BP). A subsequent infill phase is characterised by a basin-wide erosional (ravinement) surface and the deposition of inter- and sub-tidal estuarine sediments. Although our data support the general trends, our stratigraphic and radiocarbon data suggest a higher sea level between 11 and 13.5 ka cal BP than predicted by existing glacial isostatic adjustment models.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.margeo.2015.08.021
ISSN: 0025-3227
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Marine Sciences
Date made live: 22 Mar 2016 12:12 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/513300

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