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Coastal deposits along the western coastal margin of Australia, a region of relative tectonic stability, record Plio-Pleistocene events and processes affecting the inner shelf and adjacent hinterland. Tectonic deformation of these deposits is more apparent in the Carnarvon Basin, and rather less so in the Perth Basin. The most complete record comes from the Perth Basin, where units of Pliocene and Pleistocene ages are well represented. In the Perth Basin, the predominantly siliciclastic Yoganup Formation, Ascot Formation and Bassendean Sand represent a complex of shoreline, inner shelf and regressive-dune facies equivalents, the deposition of which began at an undetermined stage of the Pliocene, through to the Early Pleistocene. The deposition of this sequence closed with a major regression and significant faunal extinction. Bioclastic carbonates characterize the Middle and Late Pleistocene of the Perth and Carnarvon basins. Fossil assemblages include a distinct subtropical element, unknown from the Ascot Formation and suggesting a strengthening of the Leeuwin Current. The estuarine arcoid bivalve Anadara trapezia characterizes assemblages of Oxygen Isotope Stages 5 and 7 in the Perth and Carnarvon basins, where it is now extinct. Deposits of Substage 5e (Perth Basin) also record a southerly expansion of warm-water corals and other fauna consistent with shelf temperatures warmer than present. New uranium-series ages on corals from marine sequences of the Tantabiddi Member, of the Bundera Calcarenite of the western Cape Range are consistent with the 'double peak' hypothesis for levels of Substage 5e but the evidence remains less than conclusive. Initial uranium-series dates from the Bibra and Dampier formations of Shark Bay indicate that both derive from the Late Pleistocene. These numerical ages contradict previous interpretations of relative ages obtained from field studies. The age relationship of the units requires further investigation. ?? 1991.
Additional Publication Details
Pliocene-Pleistocene coastal events and history along the western margin of Australia