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History of research and state of the art of the Holocene depositional history of the Belgian coastal plain
Baeteman, C. (2013). History of research and state of the art of the Holocene depositional history of the Belgian coastal plain, in: Thoen, E. et al. Landscapes or seascapes? The history of the coastal environment in the North Sea area reconsidered. CORN Publication Series, 13: pp. 11-29. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1484/M.CORN.1.101546
In: Thoen, E. et al. (2013). Landscapes or seascapes? The history of the coastal environment in the North Sea area reconsidered. CORN Publication Series, 13. Brepols Publishers: Turnhout. ISBN 978-2-503-54058-0. xii, 428 pp., more
In: CORN Publication Series. Brepols: Turnhout. ISSN 1780-3225, more

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Keywords
    Holocene; Marine

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  • Baeteman, C., more

Abstract
    This paper evaluates the major issues that surround two different concepts of Holocene coastal evolution in the Belgian coastal plain with reference to the possibility of human occupation. The first concept, which was generally accepted until the 1980s, only considered late Holocene deposits. The coastal evolution was then conceived of as a series of successive transgressions (in the sense of a sea-level rise) that breached the dune belt and flooded the entire plain. The coastal plain was geographically divided into different landscapes according to the different transgressions that were chronologically defined on the basis of archaeological and historical sources. From the 1980s a complete different view on coastal development has been developed on the basis of intensive new geological fieldwork, whereby the entire Holocene sediment succession is investigated. Here, the development of the coastal plain is considered in the context of the dynamic character of tidal sedimentary environments. Sedimentology, radiocarbon datation, and diatom analyses provide the framework to explain the driving mechanisms and processes of coastal change. These results allow archaeologists and historians to better interprete their findings in a palaeoenvironmental and chronological context. In effect, this paper presents a summary of our current understanding of the Holocene coastal development.

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