Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand

Coastal Dune Ecosystem Reference Database

Late Pleistocene sea-level oscillations (MIS 10-2) recorded in shallow marine and coastal plain sediments of the southern Wanganui Basin, New Zealand Journal Paper

Hughes, G.; Kennedy, D.M.
Journal / Source
Quaternary Research
Publisher / Organisation
Cambridge University Press
Pleistocene, Wanganui, Whanganui, Quaternary, MIS, marine cyclic sedimentation
The northern Wanganui Basin, New Zealand, is one of the key global sites for understanding marine cyclic sedimentation during the Quaternary. This paper presents the first evidence of marine cyclic sedimentation from its central-southern parts. Sedimentological, micropalaeontological and palynological analyses on a 280-m-deep borehole encountered units dating back to MIS 10. The sequence includes four marine cycles spanning MIS 9–5, which are overlain by terrestrial fluvial aggradation surfaces dating from MIS 4–2. Each marine unit represents a progressively shallowing depositional environment from the mid-shelf to coastal plain. This is overlain by a terrestrial sequence of lowstand fluvial terraces. Localized fault movements appear to have influenced the sedimentary character of the sequence during MIS 7a and 5e producing basement highs which provided protection to the shoreline. The cyclothems described in this paper now extend the already extensive, previously described record from MIS 17–10 to produce a combined eustatic record of Quaternary sea level change within the basin to MIS 5. They also provide an excellent example of the sedimentary response of a coastal basin to a progressive loss of sedimentation accommodation space.