The aim of this study is to unravel the respective influence of land use and high-frequency climate changes on the siltation of a river-influenced coastal environment. An 8.4 m long sediment core was recovered in the Pertuis Charentais (western France). An accurate C-14 Bayesian age model was developed to perform a depth to time conversion of high-resolution sedimentological data obtained on the core. Forest loss and precipitation changes that occurred on the related catchments were reconstructed from data gathered in the literature. A sharp increase in winter rainfall (1700-1750 AD) intensified erosion of catchments previously sensitised by increased forest loss (1640-1710 AD), which resulted in a massive supply of silt to the coast from ca. 1775 AD onwards. A review of articles reporting similar mud layers is also proposed. Depending on their age, some major phases of mankind migration history could be traced back, which confirms the predominant influence of human activities on the siltation of river-influenced coastal environments. We therefore propose to group these mud layers into the Anthropogenic System Tracts, in reference to widely used sequence stratigraphy nomenclature, and we suggest that it might help to identify a Holocene to Anthropocene stratigraphic boundary in coastal areas. (c) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- MARENNES-OLERON BAY
- SEA-LEVEL CHANGES
- CHESAPEAKE BAY
- SW FRANCE
- SUSPENDED SEDIMENT
- ANTHROPOGENIC INFLUENCE
- FORAMINIFERAL RECORD
- MACROTIDAL BAY
[Poirier, Clement; Chaumillon, Eric] Univ La Rochelle, CNRS, F-17000 La Rochelle, France; [Arnaud, Fabien] Univ Savoie, CNRS, CISM, F-73376 Le Bourget Du Lac, France
Poirier, C (reprint author), Univ La Rochelle, CNRS, 2 Rue Olympe Gouges, F-17000 La Rochelle, France.
- Littoral, Environnement et Sociétés (LIENSs), UMR7266
- Littoral, Environnement et Sociétés - LIENSs, UMR6250