Holocene sedimentary record and coastal evolution in the Makran subduction zone (Iran)

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.3390/quat2020021. This is version 4 of this Preprint.


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Raphaël Normand, Guy Simpson, Frederic Herman, Rabiul Haque Biswas, Abbas Bahroudi


The Makran coast displays evidence of surface uplift since at least the Late Pleistocene, but it remains uncertain whether this displacement is accommodated by creep on the subduction interface, or in a series of large earthquakes. Here, we address this problem by looking at the short term (Holocene) history of continental vertical displacements recorded in the geomorphology and sedimentary succession of the Makran beaches. In the region of Chabahar (Southern Iran), we study two bay-beaches through the description, measurement and dating of 13 sedimentary sections with a combination of radiocarbon and Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating. Our results show that lagoonal settings dominate the early Holocene of both studied beach sections. A flooding surface associated with the Holocene maximum transgression is followed by a prograding sequence of tidal and beach deposits. Coastal progradation is evidenced in Pozm Bay, where we observe a rapid buildup of the beach ridge succession (3.5 m/yr lateral propagation over the last 1950 years). Dating of Beris Beach revealed high rates of uplift, comparable to the rates obtained from the nearby Late Pleistocene marine terraces. A 3150 year old flooding surface within the sedimentary succession of Chabahar Bay was possibly caused by rapid subsidence during an earthquake. If true, this might indicate that the Western Makran does produce large earthquakes, similar to those that have occurred further east in the Pakistani Makran.




Earth Sciences, Geomorphology, Other Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Sedimentology


earthquake, Makran, Beach progradation, Coastal processes, Coseismic subsidence, Headland-Bay beach, Holocene Uplift


Published: 2019-05-14 16:54

Last Updated: 2019-06-17 03:28

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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