An inlet sequence produced by migration of a small microtidal inlet against longshore drift: the Keurbooms Inlet, South Africa



ABSTRACT Lateral migration of the Keurbooms Inlet along its barrier causes stratigraphic stacking of the different sedimentary units in the inlet area thus accumulating an inlet sequence under the newly formed barrier. Deposition in the inlet is controlled by wave and tidal action. Migration is caused by sediment accretion on the downdrift side of the inlet and erosion on its updrift side. The migration direction is therefore in the opposite direction to the longshore current. This is comparatively rare as most inlets with a tendency to migrate do so in the same direction as longshore drift. Tidal Current directions in the inlet are highly variable and not bipolar.

The inlet-associated environment is divided into a seaward wave-dominated zone and a landward tide-dominated zone. These zones probably have laterally interfingering facies. Only the lower part of the sequence is likely to be preserved. Recognition of ancient analogues in the rock record may be obscured by the unidirectional palaeocurrent pattern of the lower part of the inlet sequence.