Land–sea correlation between Late Holocene coastal and infralittoral deposits in the SE Iberian Peninsula (Western Mediterranean)

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Fernández Salas, Luis Miguel
Dabrio, Cristino J.
Díaz del Río, Víctor
Zazo Cardeña , Caridad
Lobo Sánchez, Francisco José
Sanz Alonso, José Luis
Lario, Javier
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Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam
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The well-exposed systems of prograding beach ridges on the Carchuna–Calahonda (Granada) and Campo de Dalías–Roquetas (Almería) coastal plains continue offshore as infralittoral prograding wedges (IPW). The Holocene IPW is a narrow morpho-sedimentary unit up to 2.5 km wide which develops seaward from the lower edge of the shoreface to 15–20 m depth, extending to a well-defined break of slope at water depths of 35–40 m. These IPWs have been recognized and studied using very high-resolution seismic profiles (TOPAS) and multibeam data (EM-3000D). In detail they are complex morpho-sedimentary units in which internal structures are closely linked to the pattern of progradation of the adjacent coastal plains. When longshore currents produce significant littoral drift, the IPWs are composed of several minor units arranged in offlap, which accrete parallel or oblique to the main shoreline. Therefore, it is possible to correlate progradational units in the coastal plain (H-units, sensu[Goy, J.L., Zazo, C., Dabrio, C.J., 2003. A beach-ridge progradation complex reflecting periodical sea-level and climate variability during the Holocene (Gulf of Almería, Western Mediterranean). Geomorphology 50, 251–268]) and subunits in the IPW, but special care is required depending on the local arrangement of morpho-sedimentary units. Besides, it is not realistic to draw conclusions regarding the age of the subunits inside a given IPW without adequate dating, as the number of subunits will greatly vary from place to place depending on local factors, magnitude of sea-level oscillations, and sediment supply.