The drowned apostles: the longevity of sea stacks over eustatic cycles

Bezore, Rhiannon, Kennedy, David M. and Ierodiaconou, Daniel 2016, The drowned apostles: the longevity of sea stacks over eustatic cycles, Journal of coastal research, vol. 75, no. Special issue, pp. 592-596, doi: 10.2112/SI75-119.1.

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Title The drowned apostles: the longevity of sea stacks over eustatic cycles
Author(s) Bezore, Rhiannon
Kennedy, David M.
Ierodiaconou, DanielORCID iD for Ierodiaconou, Daniel
Journal name Journal of coastal research
Volume number 75
Issue number Special issue
Start page 592
End page 596
Total pages 5
Publisher Coastal Education & Research Foundation
Place of publication Graz, Austria
Publication date 2016
ISSN 0749-0208
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Physical Sciences
Environmental Sciences
Geography, Physical
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Physical Geography
Rocky coasts
coastal geomorphology
coastal processes
sea level
sea stacks
Summary Cliffed rocky coasts are erosional environments, the remnants of which can be preserved as sea stacks as the shoreline retreats. These sea stacks form spectacular landscapes, such as the iconic Twelve Apostles in Victoria, Australia. However, they are ephemeral features formed on a centennial scale, continually eroding and collapsing, meaning that coasts characterised by sea stacks often have fewer features than when first described. The question arises then as to the longevity of such features and whether they can be preserved over eustatic cycles. The modern Twelve Apostles, of which 8 are still standing, are comprised of the Miocene Port Campbell Limestone and reach 45 m above sea level. Recent multibeam sonar data show five features around 6 km offshore, in 40-50 m water depth that appear to be relict sea stacks. Based on the morphology and geology of both the modern and drowned Apostles, it is inferred that the drowned and modern stacks evolved in a similar manner. While the modern sea stacks have an average height of 45 m, the drowned stacks have an average height of 4 m, suggesting a much greater age and also the possibility of multiple exposures to subaerial processes. The drowned stacks lay 655 m seaward of a drowned cliff averaging 14 m high which likely represents a former interstadial shoreline. This is much greater than the 91 m average distance between stack and cliff for the Modern Apostles, which may imply a more prolonged period of erosion along the drowned coastline.
Language eng
DOI 10.2112/SI75-119.1
Field of Research 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Coastal Education & Research Foundation
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