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Microtextural characteristics of quartz grains from large scale marine inundations: case studies from the eastern coastline of Australia

Conference Paper


Abstract


  • Large-scale inundation events, such as storm and/or tsunami, represent a major coastal hazard with

    the potential to damage property, infrastructure and resources, and cause loss of life. To advance

    understanding of modern tsunami and their potential affects, we must recognise the signatures of

    palaeotsunami. Many palaeotsunami deposits undergo alteration after deposition, resulting in loss of

    some potential identification proxies used in the identification of such deposits. For example, in

    swampy/peaty environments, the decomposition of organic matter produces acids. These, in turn,

    dissolve carbonates out of the deposit, such as marine macro- and microfossils that could be used for

    identification of a marine inundation. However, quartz grains are abundant in coastal inundation

    deposits. When the quartz grains are transported via strong hydrodynamic processes, they undergo

    surface abrasion, resulting in distinctive microtextural features.

    In this study, cores were collected from several back-barrier estuaries and swamps along the eastern

    coastline of Australia. These sites are often swampy or peaty, resulting in poor microfossils

    preservation. Therefore quartz grains were used as a proxy for identifying extreme marine

    inundations. The specific microtextural signatures for tsunami transported quartz grains observed in

    these deposits were fresh surfaces and percussion marks. Also observed was the angularity and

    dissolution of the surface of the quartz grains, and adhering microparticles. Within the suggested

    tsunami deposits1,2, an increase in fresh surfaces and percussion marks were observed, with almost

    complete resurfacing of some grains.

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Riggs, N. J., Jones, B. G., Sloss, C. R. & Murray-Wallace, C. V. (2014). Microtextural characteristics of quartz grains from large scale marine inundations: case studies from the eastern coastline of Australia. AQUA Biennial Meeting: Program and Abstracts (pp. 35-1-35-1). Australia: Australasian Quaternary Association.

Start Page


  • 35-1

End Page


  • 35-1

Abstract


  • Large-scale inundation events, such as storm and/or tsunami, represent a major coastal hazard with

    the potential to damage property, infrastructure and resources, and cause loss of life. To advance

    understanding of modern tsunami and their potential affects, we must recognise the signatures of

    palaeotsunami. Many palaeotsunami deposits undergo alteration after deposition, resulting in loss of

    some potential identification proxies used in the identification of such deposits. For example, in

    swampy/peaty environments, the decomposition of organic matter produces acids. These, in turn,

    dissolve carbonates out of the deposit, such as marine macro- and microfossils that could be used for

    identification of a marine inundation. However, quartz grains are abundant in coastal inundation

    deposits. When the quartz grains are transported via strong hydrodynamic processes, they undergo

    surface abrasion, resulting in distinctive microtextural features.

    In this study, cores were collected from several back-barrier estuaries and swamps along the eastern

    coastline of Australia. These sites are often swampy or peaty, resulting in poor microfossils

    preservation. Therefore quartz grains were used as a proxy for identifying extreme marine

    inundations. The specific microtextural signatures for tsunami transported quartz grains observed in

    these deposits were fresh surfaces and percussion marks. Also observed was the angularity and

    dissolution of the surface of the quartz grains, and adhering microparticles. Within the suggested

    tsunami deposits1,2, an increase in fresh surfaces and percussion marks were observed, with almost

    complete resurfacing of some grains.

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Riggs, N. J., Jones, B. G., Sloss, C. R. & Murray-Wallace, C. V. (2014). Microtextural characteristics of quartz grains from large scale marine inundations: case studies from the eastern coastline of Australia. AQUA Biennial Meeting: Program and Abstracts (pp. 35-1-35-1). Australia: Australasian Quaternary Association.

Start Page


  • 35-1

End Page


  • 35-1