An Ephemeral Inlet from the Virginia Barrier Island Chain: Stratigraphic Sequence and Preservational Potential of Infilled Sediments
Stratigraphic sequence, character, and preservation potential of inlet sediments were determined from five vibracores in an ephemeral inlet. Bungalow Inlet, an ephemeral inlet located within the Virginia barrier island chain, is presently closed but was open during the period 1929–1969. Because permanent inlets along this coastal sector do not migrate laterally, ephemeral inlets may be important locales for the accumulation of abundant inlet-fill sands. The ephemeral inlet-fill sequence is well preserved. However, the channel bottom is only approximately 2.5 m below MSL. Shell and shell fragments lie disconformably over pre-existing muddy backbarrier sediments. Tan, fine grained, foreshore or washover sands conformably overlie the coarser grained inlet fill. The thickness of the inlet-fill decreases in a landward direction and toward the margins of the former inlet. Washover sediments are recognized in the more landward cores. Previous studies point to the preservation of inlet-filling sands from the episodic opening and/or lateral migration of inlets along a lengthy barrier spit or island. The infilling sands are deposited below wave base and represent a significant percentage of the material preserved within barrier systems of these types. However, the different morphology, antecedent topography, and associated hydrodynamics of barrier island chains, relative to a long barrier island or spit, result in the development of deep stable and shallow temporary inlets with little or no subsequent abundant preservation of inlet-fill sands. The paucity of sandy inlet deposits in ancient barrier sediments may reflect the presence of a barrier chain.
KeywordsBarrier Island Tidal Inlet Erosional Contact Shell Debris Delmarva Peninsula
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Finkelstein, K., 1986a. Backbarrier contributions to a littoral sand budget. J. Coast. Geol, 2:33–42.Google Scholar
- Finkelstein, K., 1986b. The late Quaternary evolution of a twin barrier island complex, Cape Charles, Virginia. Ph.D dissertation, College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Williamsburg, Virginia. 284 pp.Google Scholar
- Finkelstein, K. and Ferland, M.A., in press. The backbarrier response to sea-level rise, Eastern Shore of Virginia. SEPM Spec. Pubi, W.Armstrong Price Sea-Level Rise Symposium, August 1983.Google Scholar
- Halsey, D.A., 1978. Late Quaternary geologic history and morphologic development of the barrier island system along the Delmarva Peninsula of the Mid-Atlantic Bight. Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of Delaware, Newark, Delaware. 592 pp.Google Scholar
- Hayes, M.O., 1979. Barrier island morphology as a function of tidal and wave regimes. In: Leatherman, S.P. (ed.), Barrier Islands from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico, New York: Academic Press, p. 1–27.Google Scholar
- Moslow, T.F. and Heron, S.D., 1978. Relict inlets: preservation and occurrence in the Holocene stratigraphy of Southern Core Banks, North Carolina. J. Sed. Petrol., 48:1275–1286.Google Scholar
- Rice, T.E. and Leatherman, S.P., 1983. Barrier island dynamics: the eastern shore of Virginia. Southeastern Geol., 24:125–137.Google Scholar
- Rice, T.E., Niedoroda, A.W. and Pratt, A.P., 1976. The coastal processes and geology, Virginia barrier islands. The Virginia Coast Reserve Study, The Nature Conservancy, p. 108–382.Google Scholar
- Slingerland, R.L., 1977. Progresses, responses, and resulting stratigraphic sequences of barrier island tidal inlets as deduced from Assawoman Inlet, Virginia. Ph.D. dissertation, Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, 387 pp.Google Scholar
- U.S. Army Coastal Engineering Research Center (C.E.R.C), 1984. Shore Protection Manual, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 2 Vols.Google Scholar