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  • 1
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford, UK : Blackwell Publishing Ltd
    Sedimentology 44 (1997), S. 0 
    ISSN: 1365-3091
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: Holocene deposits of the Hawkesbury River estuary, located immediately north of Sydney on the New South Wales coast, record the complex interplay between sediment supply and relative sea-level rise within a deeply incised bedrock-confined valley system. The present day Hawkesbury River is interpreted as a wave-dominated estuarine complex, divisible into two broad facies zones: (i) an outer marine-dominated zone extending 6 km upstream from the estuary mouth that is characterized by a large, subtidal sandy flood-tidal delta. Ocean wave energy is partially dissipated by this flood-tidal delta, so that tidal level fluctuations are the predominant marine mechanism operating further landward; (ii) a river-dominated zone that is 103 km long and characterized by a well developed progradational bayhead delta that includes distributary channels, levees, and overbank deposits. This reach of the Hawkesbury River undergoes minor tidal level fluctuations and low fluvial runoff during baseflow conditions, but experiences strong flood flows during major runoff events. Fluvial deposits of the Hawkesbury River occur upstream of this zone.The focus of this paper is the Hawkesbury River bayhead delta. History of deposition within this delta over the last c. 12 ka is interpreted from six continuous cores located along the upper reaches of the Hawkesbury River. Detailed sedimentological analysis of facies, whole-core X-ray analysis of burrow traces and a chronostratigraphic framework derived from 10 C-14 dates reveal four stages of incised-valley infilling in the study area: (1) before 17 ka BP, a 0–1 m thick deposit of coarse-grained fluvial sand and silt was laid down under falling-to-lowstand sea level conditions; (2) from 17 to 6·5 ka BP, a 5–10 m thick deposit composed of fine-grained fluvial sand and silt, muddy bayhead delta and muddy central-basin deposits developed as the incised valley was flooded during eustatic sea-level rise; (3) during early highstand, between 6·5 and 3 ka BP, a 3–8 m thick bed of interbedded muddy central-basin deposits and sandy river flood deposits, formed in association with maximum flooding and progradation of sandy distributary mouth-bar deposits commenced; (4) since 3 ka BP, fluvial deposits have prograded toward the estuary mouth in distributary mouth-bar, interdistributary-bay and bayhead-delta plain environments to produce a 5–15 m thick progradational to aggradational bayhead-delta deposit. At the mouth of the Hawkesbury estuary subaqueous fluvial sands interfinger with and overlie marine sands. The Hawkesbury River bayhead-delta depositional succession provides an example of the potential for significant variation of facies within the estuarine to fluvial segment of incised-valley systems.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1365-3091
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: The post-glacial succession in the Cobequid Bay — Salmon River incised valley contains two sequences, the upper one incomplete. The lower sequence contains only highstand system tracts (HST) deposits which accumulated under microtidal, glacio-marine deltaic conditions. The upper sequence contains two, retrogradationally stacked parasequences. The lower one accumulated in a wave-dominated estuarine environment under micro-mesotidal conditions. It belongs to the lowstand system tract (LST) or early transgressive system tract (TST) depending on the timing and location of the lowstand shoreline, and contains a gravel barrier that has been overstepped and preserved with little modification. The upper parasequence accumulated in the modern, macrotidal estuary, and is assignable to the late TST. Recent, net progradation of the fringing marshes indicates that a new HST has begun.The sequence boundary separating the two sequences was formed by fluvial incision, and perhaps also by subtidal erosion during the relative sea level fall. Additional local erosion by waves and tidal currents occurred during the transgression. The base of the macrotidal sands is a prominent tidal ravinement surface which forms the flooding surface between the backstepping estuarine parasequences. Because fluvial deposition continued throughout the transgression, the fluvial-estuarine contact is diachronous and cannot be used as the transgressive surface. The maximum flooding surface will be difficult to locate in the macrotidal sands, but is more easily identified in the fringing muddy sediments.These observations indicate that: (1) large incised valleys may contain a compound fill that consists of more than one sequence; (2) relative sea level changes determine the stratal stacking patterns, but local environmental factors control the nature of the facies and surfaces; (3) these surfaces may have complex origins, and commonly become amalgamated; (4) designation of the transgressive surface (and thus the LST) is particularly difficult as many of the prominent surfaces in the valley fill are diachronous facies boundaries; and (5) the transgression of complex topography may cause geologically instantaneous changes in tidal range, due to resonance under particular geographical configurations.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1365-3091
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: The 40-km-long, Cobequid Bay—Salmon River estuary has a maximum tidal range of 16·3 m and experiences limited wave action. Sediment, which is derived primarily from areas seaward of the estuary, is accumulating faster than the high-tide elevation is rising, and the system is progradational. The deposits consist of an axial belt of sands, which is flanked by mudflats and salt marshes in the inner half of the estuary where a funnel-shaped geometry is developed, and by erosional or non-depositional foreshores in the outer half where the system is confined by the valley walls. The axial sands are divisible into three facies zones: zone 1—elongate, tidal sand bars at the seaward end; zone 2—sand flats with a braided channel pattern; zone 3—the inner, single-channel, tidal—fluvial transition. Tidal current speeds reach a maximum in zone 2, but grain sizes decrease headward (from medium and coarse sand in zone 1, to fine and very fine sand in zones 2 and 3) because the headward termination of the major flood channels prevents the coarse, traction population from entering the inner part of the estuary.Longitudinal progradation will produce a 20-m-thick, upward-fining succession, the lower 1/2–2/3 of which will consist of cross-bedded, medium to coarse sand deposited on the zone 1 sand bars. The ebb-dominated portion of this unit will be finer grained than the flood-dominated part, and will contain trough crossbedding produced by 3-D megaripples; the flood-dominated areas, by contrast, will consist mainly of compound cross-bedding created by sandwaves with superimposed megaripples. Headward migration of swatchways (oblique channels that link the ebb- and flood-dominated areas) will create packages of ebb cross-bedding that is orientated at a high angle to the long axis of the estuary and that contains headwardinclined, lateral-accretion surfaces. The overlying fine and very fine sands of zones 2 and 3 will be composed mainly of upper-flow-regime parallel lamination. The succession will be capped by a 4-m-thick unit of mixed flat, mudflat and salt marsh sediments. A review of other macrotidal estuaries with tidal ranges greater than 10 m suggests that the major elements of the model have general applicability.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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