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

Plets, R M K, Callard, S L, Cooper, Andrew, Long, A J, Quinn, R, Belknap, D F, Edwards, R J, Jackson, Derek W. T., Kelley, J T, Long, D, Milne, G A and Monteys, X (2015) Late Quaternary evolution and sea-level history of a glaciated marine embayment, Bantry Bay, SW Ireland. Marine Geology, 369 . pp. 251-272. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2015.08.021


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-resolution marine 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:Journal article
Keywords:Relative sea-level change; post-glacial transgression; multibeam echosounder; seismo-stratigraphy; litho-stratigraphy; Bantry Bay
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Geography and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Environmental Sciences Research Institute > Centre for Maritime Archaeology
Environmental Sciences Research Institute > Coastal Systems
Environmental Sciences Research Institute
ID Code:32541
Deposited By: Dr Ruth Plets
Deposited On:31 Oct 2015 14:36
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 16:19

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