Holocene tidal palaeochannels, Severn Estuary Levels, UK: a search for granulometric and foraminiferal criteria
Allen, J. R. L., Haslett, S. K. and Rinkel, B. E. (2006) Holocene tidal palaeochannels, Severn Estuary Levels, UK: a search for granulometric and foraminiferal criteria. Proceedings of the Geologists Association, 117. pp. 329-344. ISSN 0016-7878
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Holocene tidal palaoechannels, Severn Estuary Levels, UK: a search for granulometric and foraminiferal criteria. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 117, 329-344. Grain-size characteristics (by laser granulometry) and foraminiferal assemblages have been established for silts accumulated in five, dissimilar tidal palaeochannels of mid or late Holocene age in the Severn Estuary Levels, representative of muddy tidal systems. For purposes of general comparison, similar data were obtained from a representative active tidal inlet in the area, but all of these channels have been subject to human interference and are not relied upon as a model for environmental interpretation. Although the palaeochannel deposits differ substantially in their bedding characteristics and stratigraphical relationships from the level-bedded salt-marsh platform and mudflat deposits with which they are associated, and although the channel environment is distinctive morphologically and hydraulically, no critical textural differences could be found between the channel deposits and the associated facies. Similarly, no foraminiferal assemblages distinctive of a tidal channel were encountered. Instead, the assemblages compare with those from mudflats and salt-marsh platforms. It is concluded that the sides of the subfossil channels carried some vegetation, as was observed to be the case in the modern inlet. An alternative approach is necessary if concealed palaeochannel deposits are to be recognized in muddy systems from limited numbers of subsurface samples. Although the palaeochannels afforded no characteristic textural signature, they yield transverse grain-size patterns pointing to coastal movements during their evolution. Concave-up trends suggest outward coastal building, whereas convex-up ones point to marsh-edge retreat.