SCARPS - Reconstruction of the shoreline position along the Portuguese coast over the last 6000 years - Analysis of the architecture and stratigraphy of sand barriers


STUDY AREAAeolian sheets and long beaches dominate the Portuguese shoreline. These large accumulations of sediment have apparently undergone different evolutionary stages through the Holocene as a consequence of relative changes on the major factors governing this time scale: sea-level oscillations, sediment input and climate variability. Though the analysis of the stratigraphic record in coastal barriers and transgressive dunes we attempt to reconstruct the history of our coasts and thus contribute to the understanding of the climate variability and its effect on our coasts.

The present proposal aims to reconstruct the evolution of the shoreline during the Middle and Late Holocene in relation to changes in the factors governing shoreline trends. The reconstruction of the shoreline focuses first on three sections of the Portuguese coast (Quiaios-Mira, Caparica and Tróia) and then compares results from each site to allow discriminating between locally induced events and those with a more regional signal. To do so, we attempt to: (1) recognize the major stages on the evolution of the shoreline along the Portuguese coast by reconstructing paleo-shorelines from the internal architecture of the selected sand-barriers, and (2) integrate the defined paleo-shorelines in a chronological framework by dating the bounding surfaces. Additionally, we explore major transgressive dunefields genetically linked to present or past shorelines to complete our vision of the coastal sedimentary puzzle.

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