Geomorphological evolution and mapping of the littoral of Asturias and Cantabria (Northern Spain) in the area of El Pindal Cave: relations between coastline and karstic morphologies

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Along the northern littoral of the Iberian Peninsula, from Cuerres (Asturias) to Oyambre (Cantabria) there are caves, such as El Pindal (World Heritage List). Two geomorphologic maps have been prepared: a general scaled 1:25000, and a detail one of the cave, with erosional and depositional landforms geomorphologic units. A relative Quaternary chronology for the depositional landforms, uses colour spots. Marine morphologies suitable for determining past sea-level positions were surveyed to identify the elevation of past high-stands and reconstructing paleo-shorelines. As a result, the study of seven erosional surfaces (rasas) in quartzites and six on limestones led to reconstructing a general sequence between 275–120 m and 90–1 m above sea level (a.s.l.) respectively. Around the El Pindal cave there are four rasas cut on quartzites (171–160 m) and four cut on limestone (65–32 m). Other additional indicators of paleoshorelines are: 24–25 m entrance to the El Pindal cave, 20–21 m lower Pindal, 15–17 m marine terrace, 9–10 m shelter, 2–3 m notches and 0–1 m present rasa.Considering the elevation rates for the various rasas, an estimated value of 0.066 mm/y as the most probable, it is concluded that the beginning of Quaternary lays at 172 m a.s.l.
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