Late Holocene mangrove development and onset of sedimentation in the Yax Chen cave system (Ox Bel Ha) Yucatan, Mexico: Implications for using cave sediments as a sea-level indicator

TitleLate Holocene mangrove development and onset of sedimentation in the Yax Chen cave system (Ox Bel Ha) Yucatan, Mexico: Implications for using cave sediments as a sea-level indicator
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsCollins S.V, Reinhardt E.G, Werner C.L, Le Maillot C., Devos F., Rissolo D.
JournalPalaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology
Volume438
Pagination124-134
Date Published2015/11
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0031-0182
Accession NumberWOS:000362613300010
Keywordsage; Anchialine; Cave sediments; curve; dissolution; groundwater-flow; holocene; Hurricanes; Mangrove; model; peninsula; quintana-roo; record; Sea level; water; Yucatan; zone
Abstract

This study examines the relationship between the flooding of cenotes and formation of coastal mangrove with Holocene sea-level rise and the onset of aquatic sedimentation in Yax Chen, a cave system in Quintana Roo on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Sediment depth measurements (n = 180) were collected along 2.7 km of an underwater cave passage and three cores were radiocarbon dated to examine both the extent and timing of sedimentation in the cave. Basal radiocarbon ages (similar to 4 Ka) for aquatic sediments in the cave show that Holocene sea-level rise flooded cenotes, creating sunlit open water conditions with associated mangroves on the upper karst surface. These conditions initiated abundant and widespread sedimentation in the cave. Cenote surface area controlled the long-term sediment accumulation in the cave passages through primary productivity in the sunlit open water areas of the cenotes. This primary productivity was enhanced with mangrove formation, which causes funneling of precipitation and nutrient-rich waters into the cenotes from the mangroves. Accumulation histories from the radiocarbon-dated sediment cores (n = 3) were compared with accumulation histories in previously published studies including Actun Ha, Mexico and Green Bay Cave (GBC), Bermuda. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.07.042
Short TitlePaleogeogr. Paleoclimatol. Paleoecol.
Student Publication: 
No
Research Topics: 
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