Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand

Coastal Dune Ecosystem Reference Database

Holocene coastal depositional sequences on a tectonically active setting: southeastern Tauranga Harbour, New Zealand Journal Paper

Davis, R.A.; Healy, T.R.
Journal / Source
Sedimentary Geology
More than 70 cores, a high-resolution seismic survey, and SCUBA observations provide the basis for the interpretation of depositional environments that accumulated during the Quaternary in the southeastern Tauranga Harbour area of the North Island, New Zealand. Three lithofacies comprise this sequence; in ascending order they are pumiceous sand and gravel, shelly mud and shelly sand. The pumiceous sand is interpreted as fluvial and fan deposits of Pleistocene to early Holocene age with a radiometric date of 9420 ± 100 yr BP near the top of the unit. The shelly mud represents low-energy estuarine deposition of essentially normal marine salinity in a valley-like setting. This unit dates at 8100 ± 80 yr BP. The extensive overlying shelly sand thickens seaward and represents wave-dominated shoreface conditions much like the present nearshore environment. Radiometric dating of samples within the present harbor are all between 6000 and 7000 yr BP and those seaward of the spit to Mt. Maunganui are less than 3370 ± 100 yr BP. The barrier spit that has attached to the volcanic headland began accumulating about 4000–5000 years ago.