Depositional model for a chenier plain, Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia


  • E. G. RHODES

    1. Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB no 3, MSO, Townsville, Australia
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The southern coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Australia, consists of a broad chenier plain which is comparable in size and morphology to those reported on the coasts of Surinam and south-western Louisiana. The Carpentaria chenier plain has, at some locations, prograded over 30 km since the Middle Holocene by deposition of low-tide muds over subtidal muds during periods of increased sediment input by the rivers. Chenier ridges are formed during periods of reduced sediment flux by wave induced sorting and redistribution processes. An alternation of increased and decreased sediment flux from fluvial sources has occurred several times during the upper Holocene. Such variation in sediment supply is believed to be related to temporal fluctuations in rainfall over the drainage basin which surrounds the southern and eastern Gulf.