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From an Estuary to a Freshwater Lake: A Paleo-Estuary Evolution in the Context of Holocene Sea-Level Fluctuations, SE Brazil

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2016

Antonio Alvaro Buso Junior*
Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (CENA/USP), Brazil
Luiz Carlos Ruiz Pessenda
Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (CENA/USP), Brazil
Paulo Eduardo de Oliveira
SÃo Francisco University, Brazil
Paulo César Fonseca Giannini
Instituto de Geociências da Universidade de SÃo Paulo, Brazil
Marcelo Cancela Lisboa Cohen
Federal University of Pará, Brazil
Cecilia Volkmer-Ribeiro
FundaçÃo Zoobotânica do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Sonia Maria Barros de Oliveira
Instituto de Geociências da Universidade de SÃo Paulo, Brazil
Deborah Ines Teixeira Favaro
Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares, Brazil
Dilce De Fátima Rossetti
National Institute of Space Research, Brazil
Flávio Lima Lorente
Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (CENA/USP), Brazil
Marcos Antonio Borotti Filho
Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (CENA/USP), Brazil
Jolimar Antonio Schiavo
Universidade Estadual de Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
José Albertino Bendassolli
Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (CENA/USP), Brazil
Marlon Carlos França
Programa de Pós-GraduaçÃo em Geologia e Geoquímica, Instituto de Geociências, Univ. Federal do Pará (UFPA), Brazil
José Tasso Felix Guimarães
Programa de Pós-GraduaçÃo em Geologia e Geoquímica, Instituto de Geociências, Univ. Federal do Pará (UFPA), Brazil
Geovane Souza Siqueira
Vale Nature Reserve; Brazil
2Corresponding author. Email:


A sediment core was studied to characterize the influences of Holocene sea-level variations in the Barra Seca River valley, in the Atlantic rainforest, Linhares, Espírito Santo, southeastern Brazil. Biological proxies (pollen, spores, and sponge spicules), 14C dating, granulometry, δ13C, δ15N, C/N and major chemical elements revealed the establishment and the evolution of a paleo-estuary during the interval from ∼7700–585 cal BP. During the interval ∼7700–7000 cal BP, the study site was occupied by a bay-head delta, the inner portion of the paleo-estuary, presenting the most dense mangrove coverage of the entire record. In the interval ∼7000–3200 cal BP, the site was occupied by the central basin, possibly a consequence of the landward migration of the paleo-estuary. This interval presents reduced mangrove coverage, probably due to the permanent flooding of the valley. From ∼3200 cal BP, the marine influence at the site decreased probably as result of the seaward migration of the coast line. From ∼600 cal BP, the modern floodplain and freshwater lake were established. This interpretation is in agreement with the sea-level curves for the southeastern Brazilian coast, except for the fact that evidence of sea levels lower than the present at ∼4000 and ∼2500 cal BP as suggested by some authors were not found.

Paleoclimatology and Paleohydrology
Copyright © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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