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On the generation and degradation of emerged coral reef terrace sequences: First cosmogenic 36Cl analysis at Cape Laundi, Sumba Island (Indonesia)

Abstract : The emerged coral reef terrace sequence at Cape Laundi, on the north coast of Sumba Island (Indonesia), with at least 18 successive strandlines, remains poorly dated in spite of numerous previous data. The age discrepancies within these coral reef terraces (CRTs) were previously explained by their polycyclic nature, triggered by marine erosion and reoccupation of old coral colonies by new ones. This study aims at highlighting these processes, as well as the continental denudation that participates in the partial stripping of the thin superficial coral reef layer overlying the pre-existing surface, exhuming older coral colonies. For this purpose, we use a combined analysis of 36Cl cosmogenic concentrations, new 230Th/U ages, and previous dating in order to quantify denudation rates affecting the sequence and to highlight the role of marine erosion in reworking the lowest CRT surface. Our results demonstrate that 1) the lowermost CRT is composite, i.e., formed by different reefal limestone units constructed and eroded during successive highstands of the last interglacial, 2) following the last deglaciation, this CRT has been subjected again to coastal erosion and reoccupation during the Mid Holocene highstand, 3) its distal edge is affected by the current marine erosion and shows denudation rates higher by one to two orders of magnitude (from 279 ± 0.4 to 581 ± 0.4 mm ka−1) than the continental denudation values of higher CRTs (14.7 ± 8.3 mm ka−1 on average), 4) at the scale of a single CRT surface, variations in continental denudation rates are caused by epikarstification roughness, and 5) the distal edges have the highest continental denudation rate due to diffusion and regressive erosion produced by the runoff occurring along the steep downward cliff.
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https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03350633
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 2:39:03 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 5:33:50 AM

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Denovan Chauveau, Christine Authemayou, Kevin Pedoja, Stéphane Molliex, Laurent Husson, et al.. On the generation and degradation of emerged coral reef terrace sequences: First cosmogenic 36Cl analysis at Cape Laundi, Sumba Island (Indonesia). Quaternary Science Reviews, Elsevier, 2021, 269, pp.107144. ⟨10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.107144⟩. ⟨hal-03350633⟩

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