Modern sedimentary facies of the open Pacific coast and Pleistocene analogs from Montery Bay, California

By: , and 
Edited by: Michael E. Field and et al.



Depositional processes and sedimentary structures of wave-dominated Pacific coastal environments vary systematically with water depth. The depth-limited open-coast facies identifiable by their sedimentary structures are the inner shelf, barred or nonbarred nearshore, beach, and coastal dune facies. These facies are most commonly preserved in shallowing-upward progradational sequences.

The vertical sequence of sedimentary structures preserved in marine terrace deposits in the northern Monterey Bay region is very similar to that predicted on the basis of the modern facies. Few marine sediments deposited during the marine transgression that accompanied rising sea level were preserved. Most of the the marine and eolian sediments form a progradational sequence deposited mainly during intervals of falling sea level. In contrast, the sediments that form the adjacent fluvial terraces were deposited mainly during periods of rising sea level and became entrenched during the subsequent lowering of sea level. In combination, these fluvial, marine, and eolian deposits provide a record of a complete eustatic cycle.

The recognition of the role of changing sea level in controlling patterns of coastal sedimentation and landform development during the Quaternary allows the development of a generalized model for Quaternary sedimentation along a wave-dominated coastline. The application of this model has aided in the interpretation of older Pleistocene sediments in the region (e.g. the Aromas Sand). It also has resulted in the recognition of at least eleven glacio-eustatic cycles preserved in the stratigraphic record of the Monterey Bay area during the Quaternary.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Modern sedimentary facies of the open Pacific coast and Pleistocene analogs from Montery Bay, California
Year Published 1980
Language English
Publisher Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists
Publisher location Los Angeles, CA
Description 16 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Quaternary depositional environments of the Pacific Coast : Pacific Coast Paleogeography Symposium 4
First page 105
Last page 120
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Monterey Bay