Evidence of a major environmental change recorded in a macrotidal bay (Marennes-Oléron Bay, France) by correlation between VHR seismic profiles and cores
New, very high-resolution (25 cm) seismic profiles have revealed the internal architecture of the infilling of a macrotidal bay, the Marennes-Oléron Bay, France. Within this geometry, a major seismic unconformity has been correlated with core data. This correlation provides evidence that the seismic unconformity corresponds to a sharp grain-size decrease. Both seismic and core data indicate that this change of grain size can be interpreted as a record of a recent (around 1,000 years b.p.) decrease in hydrodynamical energy with time and/or a larger supply of fine-grained material. This recent environmental change can be related to natural infilling of the Marennes Oléron Bay, and to tidal prism decrease, increasing human activities (e.g. land reclamation, deforestation, agricultural land use) and climate fluctuations during the late Holocene, such as the transition between the cold period of the Dark Ages (1,550–1,050 years b.p.) and the Medieval warm period (1,050–550 years b.p.).