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TitleHolocene coastal reconstruction, Naikoon peninsula, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorWolfe, S A; Walker, I J; Huntley, D J
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Current Research (Online) no. 2008-12, 2008, 18 pages, (Open Access)
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf (Adobe Acrobat Reader)
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS103G/13; 103J/04
AreaNaikoon peninsula; Queen Charlotte Islands; Graham Island; Haida Gwaii
Lat/Long WENS-132.0000 -131.6667 54.2167 53.8333
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; marine geology; geochronology; Nature and Environment; Holocene; coastal environment; coastal studies; coastal erosion; shorelines; shoreline changes; deposition; depositional environment; sediment transport; radiocarbon dates; radiocarbon dating; regressions; postglacial evolution; sea level changes; sea level fluctuations; Cenozoic
Illustrationslocation maps; photographs; tables; digital elevation models
ProgramClimate Change Impacts and Adaptation Program
ProgramNSERC Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Released2008 06 12
AbstractThe Holocene coastal landscape of northeastern Graham Island, British Columbia is reconstructed from ca. 9.5 ka to present based on surfi cial geology and geomorphic mapping using light detection and ranging techniques, high-resolution aerial photographs and ground truthing, and dating of coastal deposits using optical and radiocarbon dating methods. Six evolutionary phases are defi ned over the Holocene. A predominantly erosional shoreline, initially featuring steep, bluff-backed shorelines and river inlets, evolved into an increasingly depositional coastal landscape with raised marine terraces, a northward-extending spit complex, and prograding lowland foredune and beach ridge systems. The modern system hosts an eroding shoreline backed by landward-migrating parabolic dunes and foredunes with localized erosional bluffs.

Shoreline reconstructions indicate a Holocene marine highstand of about 15.5 m a.m.s.l. at ca. 9.5 ka. By 5 ka, a deep embayment, acting as a depositional sink, was formed when Tow Hill joined the mainland which, in turn, initiated rapid progradation of North Beach. Since about 2.7 ka, rapid and possibly accelerating rates of beach ridge and foredune progradation have occurred, coupled with extension of the Rose Spit complex. During this period, the 'East beach' shoreline eroded, removing evidence of past shorelines and older geomorphic features. Nearshore sediment transport has occurred along both North Beach and East beach coupled with high eolian activity. West of Tow Hill, geoarcheological evidence dating to ca. 3.1 ka from atop a high bluff promontory may indicate a possible Haida occupation site at that time. Beach progradation has also occurred along this section of shoreline in the last 3.0 ka, with Yakan Point becoming attached to the mainland by about 1.2 ka.