Holocene shoreline progradation and coastal evolution at Guichen and Rivoli Bays, southern Australia



Publication Details

Oliver, T. S.N., Murray-Wallace, C. V. & Woodroffe, C. D. (2019). Holocene shoreline progradation and coastal evolution at Guichen and Rivoli Bays, southern Australia. Holocene, Online First 1-19.


Prograded barrier systems record shoreline behaviour and palaeoenvironmental information. The Guichen Bay Holocene embayment fill succession in South Australia has been subject to several prominent studies; however, several important unanswered questions remained regarding the timing of the older ridge sets at this site. Additional Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating indicates that progradation commenced in the southeastern corner of the plain ~7300 years ago and was rapid between ~5800 and ~5000 years ago. To augment this record, three OSL dating transects were constructed at nearby Rivoli Bay in the north, central and south. Rapid progradation occurred in the south and then north of the Rivoli plain until ~5000 years ago. Steady progradation occurred in the centre of the plain between ~5000 years ago and present. Rapid shoreline progradation at Guichen and Rivoli Bays before ~5000 years ago was due to the input of sediment from the erosion of Robe and Woakwine Ranges and the inner continental shelf as sea levels rose to present. Raised beach strata imaged with Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) at Rivoli Bay suggest a sea-level highstand of +2 m above present ~3500 years ago, steadily falling and reaching the present ~1000 years ago. This concurs with evidence from Guichen Bay and may have promoted shoreline progradation. Sediment infilling of Guichen and Rivoli Bays and the fall in sea level restricted the marine corridor between the Woakwine and Robe Ranges to a narrow channel by ~4000 and ~2000 years in the north and south, respectively. Holocene shoreline behaviour was influenced by changing sediment supply and shoreline reorientation with changing wave refraction patterns.

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