The first sedimentary record of Holocene sea-level change and tectonic deformation from the Guerrero Gap, Mexican Pacific coast

M.T. Ramirez-Herrera, Andrew Cundy, V. Kostoglodov, A. Carrenza-Edwards, E. Morales, S. Metcalfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Studies of the coastal sedimentary record have allowed both the reconstruction of relative sea-level changes and the determination of local rates and magnitudes of tectonic deformation, particularly in tectonically active areas. Despite their Successful use elsewhere, Studies of this type are much less common for the Mexican Pacific coast, which parallels the Cocos-North America subduction plate boundary. Stratigraphic, geochemical and microfossil data from sediments in Laguna Mitla, the Pacific coast of Guerrero, Mexico, document late-Holocene sea-level changes induced by tectonic activity in the Mexican subduction zone. Three major events are identified. First, file formation of the lagoon by c. 4630 yr BP, as indicated by a freshwater to brackish peat. Second, a relative sea-level rise, or land subsidence, as indicated by a shift from a freshwater marginal lagoon environment to a marine setting, preceded by a marine inundation represented by a sand unit (possibly a tsunami deposit), by c. 3400 yr BP. And finally, a return to lagoonal conditions indicating a drop in relative sea level or coastal Uplift by e. 2300 yr BP. The Laguna Mitla stratigraphy indicates general coastal subsidence or relative sea level rise of c. 1 mm/yr. We argue that these relative sea-level (land-level) changes have been induced by tectonic activity associated with the Mexican megathrust. A plausible explanation for the 3400 yr BP marine inundation is probably a tsunami produced by a large seismic event accompanied by coastal subsidence. Discrete fining upward, fine to coarse, sand units with an erosional basal contact, medium to poor sorting, and clay/mud rip-up clasts; all increase in Na and Sr elemental concentrations, indicative of a marine origin; and the landward extent of the sands support a tsunamigenic source for these deposits. However, these apparent tsunami deposits require further Study to determine their lateral extent and to assess whether they call be correlated from one site to another. This study demonstrates the applicability of a multiproxy sedimentary approach in interpreting relative sea-level (land-level) changes and to derive data on related earthquake and tsunami events in tropical coastal lagoons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1221-1231
Number of pages11
JournalHolocene
Volume17
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Fingerprint

tsunami
sea level change
subsidence
Holocene
sea level
tectonics
sand
coast
lagoon
tsunami event
type of study
earthquake event
coastal lagoon
microfossil
plate boundary
clast
sorting
subduction zone
peat
mud

Keywords

  • Sea-level change
  • Holocene
  • earthquake
  • tectonic deformation
  • Guerrero Seismic Gap
  • tsunami
  • lagoon sediments
  • Mexico

Cite this

Ramirez-Herrera, M. T., Cundy, A., Kostoglodov, V., Carrenza-Edwards, A., Morales, E., & Metcalfe, S. (2007). The first sedimentary record of Holocene sea-level change and tectonic deformation from the Guerrero Gap, Mexican Pacific coast. Holocene, 17(8), 1221-1231.
Ramirez-Herrera, M.T. ; Cundy, Andrew ; Kostoglodov, V. ; Carrenza-Edwards, A. ; Morales, E. ; Metcalfe, S. / The first sedimentary record of Holocene sea-level change and tectonic deformation from the Guerrero Gap, Mexican Pacific coast. In: Holocene. 2007 ; Vol. 17, No. 8. pp. 1221-1231.
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Ramirez-Herrera, MT, Cundy, A, Kostoglodov, V, Carrenza-Edwards, A, Morales, E & Metcalfe, S 2007, 'The first sedimentary record of Holocene sea-level change and tectonic deformation from the Guerrero Gap, Mexican Pacific coast', Holocene, vol. 17, no. 8, pp. 1221-1231.

The first sedimentary record of Holocene sea-level change and tectonic deformation from the Guerrero Gap, Mexican Pacific coast. / Ramirez-Herrera, M.T.; Cundy, Andrew; Kostoglodov, V.; Carrenza-Edwards, A.; Morales, E.; Metcalfe, S.

In: Holocene, Vol. 17, No. 8, 2007, p. 1221-1231.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The first sedimentary record of Holocene sea-level change and tectonic deformation from the Guerrero Gap, Mexican Pacific coast

AU - Ramirez-Herrera, M.T.

AU - Cundy, Andrew

AU - Kostoglodov, V.

AU - Carrenza-Edwards, A.

AU - Morales, E.

AU - Metcalfe, S.

PY - 2007

Y1 - 2007

N2 - Studies of the coastal sedimentary record have allowed both the reconstruction of relative sea-level changes and the determination of local rates and magnitudes of tectonic deformation, particularly in tectonically active areas. Despite their Successful use elsewhere, Studies of this type are much less common for the Mexican Pacific coast, which parallels the Cocos-North America subduction plate boundary. Stratigraphic, geochemical and microfossil data from sediments in Laguna Mitla, the Pacific coast of Guerrero, Mexico, document late-Holocene sea-level changes induced by tectonic activity in the Mexican subduction zone. Three major events are identified. First, file formation of the lagoon by c. 4630 yr BP, as indicated by a freshwater to brackish peat. Second, a relative sea-level rise, or land subsidence, as indicated by a shift from a freshwater marginal lagoon environment to a marine setting, preceded by a marine inundation represented by a sand unit (possibly a tsunami deposit), by c. 3400 yr BP. And finally, a return to lagoonal conditions indicating a drop in relative sea level or coastal Uplift by e. 2300 yr BP. The Laguna Mitla stratigraphy indicates general coastal subsidence or relative sea level rise of c. 1 mm/yr. We argue that these relative sea-level (land-level) changes have been induced by tectonic activity associated with the Mexican megathrust. A plausible explanation for the 3400 yr BP marine inundation is probably a tsunami produced by a large seismic event accompanied by coastal subsidence. Discrete fining upward, fine to coarse, sand units with an erosional basal contact, medium to poor sorting, and clay/mud rip-up clasts; all increase in Na and Sr elemental concentrations, indicative of a marine origin; and the landward extent of the sands support a tsunamigenic source for these deposits. However, these apparent tsunami deposits require further Study to determine their lateral extent and to assess whether they call be correlated from one site to another. This study demonstrates the applicability of a multiproxy sedimentary approach in interpreting relative sea-level (land-level) changes and to derive data on related earthquake and tsunami events in tropical coastal lagoons.

AB - Studies of the coastal sedimentary record have allowed both the reconstruction of relative sea-level changes and the determination of local rates and magnitudes of tectonic deformation, particularly in tectonically active areas. Despite their Successful use elsewhere, Studies of this type are much less common for the Mexican Pacific coast, which parallels the Cocos-North America subduction plate boundary. Stratigraphic, geochemical and microfossil data from sediments in Laguna Mitla, the Pacific coast of Guerrero, Mexico, document late-Holocene sea-level changes induced by tectonic activity in the Mexican subduction zone. Three major events are identified. First, file formation of the lagoon by c. 4630 yr BP, as indicated by a freshwater to brackish peat. Second, a relative sea-level rise, or land subsidence, as indicated by a shift from a freshwater marginal lagoon environment to a marine setting, preceded by a marine inundation represented by a sand unit (possibly a tsunami deposit), by c. 3400 yr BP. And finally, a return to lagoonal conditions indicating a drop in relative sea level or coastal Uplift by e. 2300 yr BP. The Laguna Mitla stratigraphy indicates general coastal subsidence or relative sea level rise of c. 1 mm/yr. We argue that these relative sea-level (land-level) changes have been induced by tectonic activity associated with the Mexican megathrust. A plausible explanation for the 3400 yr BP marine inundation is probably a tsunami produced by a large seismic event accompanied by coastal subsidence. Discrete fining upward, fine to coarse, sand units with an erosional basal contact, medium to poor sorting, and clay/mud rip-up clasts; all increase in Na and Sr elemental concentrations, indicative of a marine origin; and the landward extent of the sands support a tsunamigenic source for these deposits. However, these apparent tsunami deposits require further Study to determine their lateral extent and to assess whether they call be correlated from one site to another. This study demonstrates the applicability of a multiproxy sedimentary approach in interpreting relative sea-level (land-level) changes and to derive data on related earthquake and tsunami events in tropical coastal lagoons.

KW - Sea-level change

KW - Holocene

KW - earthquake

KW - tectonic deformation

KW - Guerrero Seismic Gap

KW - tsunami

KW - lagoon sediments

KW - Mexico

M3 - Article

VL - 17

SP - 1221

EP - 1231

JO - Holocene

JF - Holocene

SN - 0959-6836

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Ramirez-Herrera MT, Cundy A, Kostoglodov V, Carrenza-Edwards A, Morales E, Metcalfe S. The first sedimentary record of Holocene sea-level change and tectonic deformation from the Guerrero Gap, Mexican Pacific coast. Holocene. 2007;17(8):1221-1231.