Holocene tsunamis in the southern Caribbean: Evidence from stratigraphic archives and the coarse-clast record


We present sediment cores from seven coastal geoarchives on Bonaire, southern Caribbean, containing layers of high- energy sedimentation. Tsunami deposition is inferred for some layers based on the presence of allochthonous reefal shells including articulated specimens and a high percentage of angular fragments, planktonic foraminiferal taxa and those from the deeper shelf (below storm wave base), basal unconformities and hiatuses of >1000 a, rip-up clasts, thin depositional sequences comprising basal traction carpets overlain by normally graded sand, a proximal sediment source (littoral) in the lower part of the deposit and a broad mixture (littoral, shelfal, terrestrial) in the upper part, and the lack of deposition during recent hurricane flooding. Several tsunami layers were precisely dated to 3300-3100 cal BP, whereas the record of further candidate tsunamis is more disjunct. Additional tsunami evidence is provided by the largest coastal boulders (up to 150 t; a-axis up to 10 m). 

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