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TitleSubmerged early Holocene coastal and terrestrial landforms on the inner shelves of Atlantic Canada
AuthorShaw, J; Fader, G B; Taylor, R B
SourceContinental shelves: sea levels and environments - contributions from 17th INQUA Congress, Cairns; INQUA Commission on Coastal and Marine Processes, and International Geoscience Programme Project 526; by Catto, N R (ed.); Yim, W W -S (ed.); Antonioli, F (ed.); Yokoyama, Y (ed.); Quaternary International vol. 206, issue 1-2, 2009 p. 24-34,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20070549
PublisherElsevier BV
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formathtml; pdf (Adobe® Reader®)
ProvinceNova Scotia
NTS11D/12; 11F/14; 11F/15; 11F/16; 11K/01; 11K/02; 11K/03; 11K/06; 11K/07; 11K/08
AreaBedford Basin; Halifax; Bras d'Or Lakes; Cape Breton Island
Lat/Long WENS-63.6833 -63.6000 44.7333 44.6500
Lat/Long WENS-61.5000 -60.0000 46.5000 45.7500
Subjectsmarine geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; Holocene; continental margins; continental shelf; postglacial deposits; marine deposits; landforms; submergence; coastal environment; sea level changes; transgressions; lakes; barrier beaches; spits; rivers; fluvial systems; deltas; bioherms; terraces; archaeology; erosion; geophysical surveys; acoustic surveys; clays; gravels; boulders; radiometric dating; radiocarbon dating; shoreline changes; glacial landforms; drumlins; sediment transfer; LaHave Clay; multibeam bathymetry; oysters; freshwater lakes; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Quaternary
Illustrationssketch maps; geophysical images; cross-sections; tables; profiles; time series
ProgramGeoscience for Oceans Management
AbstractCoastal and terrestrial landforms that formed with lowered relative sea levels during the early postglacial period in Atlantic Canada were submerged during the Holocene transgression. However, these landforms are seldom seen on sea floor imagery. Factors that contribute to their destruction include the brevity of sea level lowstands and high wave energy on shallow modern shelves. We identify one situation within which preservation has been relatively good: large coastal lakes that existed for many thousands of years before being connected to the ocean by rising sea level in the mid-Holocene. We describe Bedford Basin, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, and deal more exhaustively with the Bras d'Or Lakes, an inland sea in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The preservation of shore platforms, barrier beaches and spits, and fluvial systems, was due to the rapid onset of the transgression and the relatively low wave energy in the subsequent marine phases. The well-preserved early Holocene coastlines are highly favourable targets in the search for evidence of human occupation in the early- to mid-Holocene.

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