Several attempts at reconstructing geological settings and palaeoclimatic changes of the siliciclastic deposits of the Dahomey Basin, SW Nigeria, using relative age dating and correlation methods, have resulted in serious discrepancies on the ages. Therefore, a chronology framework established by an absolute age dating method is requisite to constrain the geological interpretation. This research focuses on quartz optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of the upper siliciclastic sediments to help bridge the lacuna that arose from previous relative geologic dating. Ten sub-surface sediment samples were collected from the eastern part of the basin, and quartz OSL dating using single-aliquot regenerative-dose protocol was conducted for all the samples. The OSL signals appear well bleached prior to deposition and the OSL ages are reliable and robust. Through the application of OSL, the age framework of the uppermost part of sediments in the study area was established. The OSL dating results revealed that these depositional periods fall within the Holocene and are concentrated during two groups: 3.52 ka–1.55 ka, and 0.64 ka–0.05 ka. The samples with ages of 3.52 ka–1.55 ka distribute in the belt-like inland zone approximately parallel to the coastline. This deposition episode appears to be caused by the decrease in relative sea level during late Holocene. Thus, this study sheds light on the understanding past coast dynamics in the region.
- Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap