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New insights on the Holocene marine transgression in the Bahía Camarones (Chubut, Argentina)

Giovanni Zanchetta(1), (2), (5), Ilaria Consoloni(1), Ilaria Isola(2), Marta Pappalardo(1), Adriano Ribolini(1), Marina Aguirre(3), (4), Enrique Fucks(4), Ilaria Baneschi(5), Monica Bini(1), Luca Ragaini(1), Filippo Terrasi(6) , Gabriella Boretto(7)

(1) Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, University of Pisa, Via S. Maria, 53 - 56126 Pisa, Italy. Corresponding author: tel. +39 050 2215795, fax +39 050 2215800, e-mail: zanchetta@dst.unipi.it (2) Istituto di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Pisa, Via della Faggiola, 32 - 56100 Pisa, Italy. (3) CONICET, INGEA UNLP, Laboratorio 6 (Malacofauna Cuaternaria), calle 64 no 3 - 1900 La Plata, Argentina. (4) Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, INGEA, calle 64 no 3 - 1900 La Plata, Argentina. (5) IGG-CNR, sezione di Pisa, Via Moruzzi, 1 - 56100 Pisa, Italy. (6) CIRCE, Department of Environmental Sciences, Second University of Naples, Caserta, Italy. (7) CICTERRA (Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Tierra), Avenida Velez Sarfield, 1611 - CP 5016. Còrdoba, Argentina.

DOI: 10.3301/IJG.2011.20   Pages: 19-31

Abstract

The stratigraphic reconstruction of the northern sector of the Bahía Camarones (Chubut, Argentina) allowed to improve our understanding of the Holocene marine transgression in the area. The first phase of the maximum of the transgression, is interpreted as dominated by the high rate of eustatic rise of sea level until ca. 6-7 ka BP possibly associated to sedimentary starvation as suggested by fossil accumulation. After this first phase, the general trend indicates a progressive fall of the relative sea level after the Middle Holocene high stand as documented in other parts of south America Atlantic coast. Our data, coupled with the robust radiocarbon data set available for the area from literature, indicate three main local steps of coastal aggradation between ca. 6600 and 5400 yr BP (ca. 7000-5600 yr cal BP), ca. 3300 and 2000 yr BP (ca. 3100-1700 yr cal BP), and ca. 1300-500 yr BP (ca. 1000-300 yr cal BP). A significant age gap in coastal aggradation is present between ca. 5300 and 4400 yr BP (ca. 5600-4500 yr cal BP), and perhaps between ca 2000 and 1300 yr BP (ca. 1700-1000 yr cal BP). These can be linked to phases of local sea level fall and/or phases of sedimentary starvation and/or changes in drift transport which can have produced local coastal cannibalization. However, no conclusive data can be advanced. Data obtained from careful measurements of sea level markers represented by the top of marsh and fluvial terraces indicate lower values for the sea level estimation compared with the data set previously proposed for the area. This stigmatizes the fact that field-oriented works are still the priority in the Patagonia coast along with accurate age measurement, especially for obtaining the fundamental information we need for predicting the environmental impact, in these coastal areas, from accelerate sea level rise as effect of global warming.

Keywords

Relative sea level, sea level markers, Patagonia, Holocene.

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ITALIAN JOURNAL OF GEOSCIENCES

The official journal of the Italian Geological Society (Società Geologica Italiana) and of the Italian Geological Survey.

 

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