The evolution of Chabahar beach ridge system in SE Iran in response to Holocene relative sea level changes

Majid Shah-Hosseini, Ezatollah Ghanavati, Christophe Morhange, Abdolmajid Naderi Beni, Hamid Alizadeh Lahijani, Mohammad Ali Hamzeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Chabahar Strandplain (CHS) stretches along the Chabahar bay at a width of more than 5 km along the northern coast of the Gulf of Oman and SE Iran; an area that has been subjected to tectonic uplift as a part of the Makran accretionary prism. The CHS comprises of beach ridges, inter-ridge swales, sand dunes, tidal channels and fluvial deposits. We present the first documentation of the spatial distribution and the internal architecture of the CHS based on topographic surveys, sediment percussive coring, trenching and ground penetrating radar (GPR) transects. Radiocarbon dating on marine shells from foreshore deposits of 8 representative beach ridges yielded ages between 4800 and 270 cal. years BP at respective distances of 4800 to 670 m from the present shoreline. We interpret the boundary between the foreshore (beach) and the foredune deposits as indicator of past sea levels by analogy to present shore processes. This boundary is readily recognizable in sediment profiles from cores and trenches as well as GPR reflectors. Based on the age model and depositional features, we estimate relative sea level fall of up to 15 m over the past 4800 years. Considering that the eustatic sea level changes for this period are negligible for the Makran coast, this relative sea level fall is related to tectonic uplift across the coastal Makran. The elevation of palaeo-shorelines with similar ages decrease from east to west of the CHS, which suggest that alongshore variations in uplift rates are likely related to different movements of coastal fault blocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-147
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Beach ridge system
  • Chabahar Bay
  • Coastal evolution
  • Coastal uplift
  • GPR
  • Ground penetrating radar
  • Holocene relative sea level changes
  • Makran
  • Strandplain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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