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Development of Quaternary travertines in the carbonate mountains of the western Costa del Sol, Málaga, southern Spain

  • Antonio Guerra-Merchán (a1), Francisco Serrano (a1), José M. García-Aguilar (a1), José E. Ortiz (a2), Trinidad Torres (a2) and Yolanda Sánchez-Palencia (a2)...

Abstract

The predominantly carbonate nature of the mountains near the coast of Málaga and Marbella (Costa del Sol, southern Spain) and the presence of springs have favored the formation of travertine buildups during the Quaternary. The geomorphic characteristics of the slopes and the location of the springs have determined the development of three types of travertine growths: (1) spring travertines, located preferentially on the south mountainside, where the slope is steepest; (2) pool-dam-cascade travertines, which form along the north and east edges, far from the carbonate relief and with a gentler slope; and (3) river-valley travertines, formed in the courses of the springs of any sector. Field observations combined with new amino acid racemization (AAR) dating of Helicidae gastropods show that most of the travertine formations are polyphasic and that their development was interrupted by stages of erosion and incision. Five stages of travertine development are evident, most of which are related to warm, moist episodes corresponding to marine oxygen isotope stages (MIS) 7, 5, 3, and 1, although local travertine growth also occurred during MIS 6 and during the transition from MIS 3 to 2.

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*Corresponding author e-mail address: antguerra@uma.es

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Development of Quaternary travertines in the carbonate mountains of the western Costa del Sol, Málaga, southern Spain

  • Antonio Guerra-Merchán (a1), Francisco Serrano (a1), José M. García-Aguilar (a1), José E. Ortiz (a2), Trinidad Torres (a2) and Yolanda Sánchez-Palencia (a2)...

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