Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

Sea-Level Indicators, Geomorphic

  • Paolo A. Pirazzoli
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48657-4_274-2


Several geomorphic features, erosional or depositional, develop near sea level. Some of them may be preserved after a change in sea level and can be used, therefore, as indicators of former sea-level positions. Erosional indicators can be preserved only in hard rock, and occur in a vertical range which depends on site exposure. They include notches, benches, trottoirs, platforms, abrasional marine terraces, strandflats, pools, potholes, sea caves, honeycomb features, and tafoni. For accurate sea-level reconstructions (Pirazzoli 1996), it is essential therefore to refer the elevation of a former indicator to that of the active counterpart in the same place rather than to that of the present sea level. Depositional indicators include tidal flats, marine-built shore platforms and terraces, beaches, beachrocks, reef flats, and submerged speleothems. Erosional features are generally inadequate to date former sea levels, whereas marine deposits may include guide fossils or...

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ParisFrance