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Title: An indurated Pleistocene coastal barrier on the inner shelf of the Gulf of Valencia (western Mediterranean): evidence for a prolonged relative sea-level stillstand
Authors: Alcántara-Carrió, Javier
Albarracín, Silvia
Montoya Montes, Isabel 
Flor-Blanco, Germán
Fontán Bouzas, Ángela
Rey Salgado, Jorge
UNESCO Clasification: 250607 Geomorfología
251007 Oceanografía física
Keywords: Last glacial maximum
Marine isotope stage
Micritic limestone
Messinian salinity crisis
Issue Date: 2013
Journal: Geo-Marine Letters 
Abstract: The objective of this study is to document and interpret a recently discovered carbonate-cemented coastal barrier on the inner shelf of the Gulf of Valencia (western Mediterranean Sea). The coastal barrier was identified in a high-resolution digital bathymetric model based on a cartographic survey of the study area using a multibeam echosounder. Moreover, radiocarbon dating and petrographic analyses were performed on a rock sample recovered from the seabed. The data reveal the submerged coastal barrier to be approx. 1.7 km wide and 70 km long, and incised by channels of various dimensions. Aligned more or less parallel to the modern coastline, it is interpreted as corresponding to the shoreline of a former sea-level stillstand. The barrier and lagoon system became stranded above sea level in the course of a subsequent forced regression, which also caused the incision of the river courses. Age dating of the cemented rock suggests that the fossil coastal barrier most probably formed during the prolonged Tyrrhenian (Eemian) sea-level highstand, induration taking place by carbonate cementation at the contact between freshwater and seawater (beach-rock formation). The fact that the fossil barrier is today submerged below modern sea level is explained by the sustained subsidence affecting the region.
ISSN: 0276-0460
DOI: 10.1007/s00367-012-0316-9
Source: Geo-Marine Letters [ISSN 0276-0460], v. 33 (2-3), p. 209-216
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