Seaward-dipping strata of carbonate-cemented shell debris located along the coast of Siesta Key on the Gulf Coast of the Florida peninsula have long been interpreted to be beachrock equivalent in age to the Pleistocene Anastasia Formation (Stage 5e) of the east coast of Florida. Detailed examination of thin sections along with radiometric dating and isotopic analyses demonstrates clearly that this is a Holocene deposit that is not beachrock but was lithified in a meteoric environment. Whole rock dates, dates from shells only, and from cement only demonstrate that these beach deposits were in place by at least 1800 yr BP and might have been there as long ago as 4300 yr BP. This means that some type of barrier island was in place at that time. Previous investigations have depicted Siesta Key as having a maximum age of 3000 yr with these deposits being located about 2 km landward of the beach deposits. This suggests that the beach deposits might have been the site of the original position of Siesta Key. These data also indicate that sea level must have been near its present position at the time that these foreshore beach deposits were deposited; sometime between 1800 and 4300 yr ago. This scenario indicates that sea level along this coastal reach probably reached its present level at least about 2000 yr ago. ?? 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Formation of 'Beach Rock' at Siesta Key, Florida and its influence on barrier island development