Holocene Sedimentation and Coastal Wetlands Response to Rising Sea Level at the Aucilla River Mouth, a Low Energy Coast in the Big Bend Area of Florida

by Connie Garrett, Florida GEological Survey, Tallahassee, United States,
Heidi Hertler, Florida GEological Survey, Tallahassee, United States,
Ronald Hoenstine, Florida GEological Survey, Tallahassee, United States,
Brad Highley, Florida GEological Survey, Tallahassee, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93

Abstract: The shallow dip of the Florida carbonate platform results in low wave energy on Florida Big Bend coasts. Therefore sedimentation is dominated by river-and tidal-hydrodynamics near the Aucilla River mouth. Where present, Holocene sediments are thin and unconformably overlie Oligocene-aged Suwannee Limestone. The oldest unlithified sediments include reworked carbonate rubble with clay and wood fragments (seven thousand years old or less, based on wood radio-carbon dating). Although this basal sequence is observed in most areas, the sediments that overlie it vary. Sediment sequences from the outer littoral to submarine environments include organic-rich sands, oyster biotherm remains, and cleaner sands with organic-filled burrows. Inner littoral (salt-marsh) sequences generally consist of sandy, fining-upwards sequences in which dry weights of fine-grained clastics and organic components increase up-sequence at similar rates. Offshore sediments preserve greatly attenuated fluvial and salt-marsh facies, if these facies are preserved at all. With sea-level rise, erosion can result from insufficient sediment supply and down-cutting by tidal currents (Dolotov, 1992; and Dalrymple et al., 1992). Dolotov (1992) attributes displacement of original coastal stratigraphy to insufficient sediments for beach profile maintenance, while Dalrymple et al. (1992) attribute erosional truncation (ravinement) or complete removal of portions of typical estuarine sequences to headward migration of tidal channels.

Subject Headings: Sediment | Wetlands (coastal) | Sea level | Channel bends | Rivers and streams | Erosion | Tides | Carbonation | Sandy soils | Wood | Salts | North America | Florida | United States

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