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Submerged paleoshoreline mapping using high-resolution Chirp sub-bottom data, Northern Channel Islands platform, California, USA

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 October 2019

Alexander W. Laws
Department of Geological Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, California 92182, USA
Jillian M. Maloney
Department of Geological Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, California 92182, USA
Shannon Klotsko
Department of Geological Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, California 92182, USA
Amy E. Gusick
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, California 90007, USA
Todd J. Braje
Department of Anthropology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, 92182, USA
David Ball
United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Camarillo, California 93010, USA
E-mail address:


High-resolution Chirp sub-bottom data were obtained offshore from the Northern Channel Islands (NCI), California, to image submerged paleoshorelines and assess local uplift rates. Although modern bathymetry is often used for modeling paleoshorelines, Chirp data image paleoshorelines buried beneath sediment that obscures their seafloor expression. The NCI were a unified landmass during the last glacial maximum (LGM; ~20 ka), when eustatic sea level was ~120 m lower than present. We identified seven paleoshorelines, ranging from ~28 to 104 m in depth, across this now-submerged LGM platform. Paleoshoreline depths were compared to local sea-level curves to estimate ages, which suggest that some were reoccupied over multiple sea-level cycles. Additionally, previous studies determined conflicting uplift rates for the NCI, ranging from 0.16 to 1.5 m/ka. Our results suggest that a rate on the lower end of this range better fits the observed submerged paleoshorelines. Using the uplift rate of ~0.16 m/ka, we estimate that paleoshorelines formed during Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage 3, the LGM, and the Younger Dryas stade are preserved on the NCI platform. These results help clarify uplift rates for the NCI and illustrate the importance of sub-bottom data for mapping submerged paleoshorelines.

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Copyright © University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2019 

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