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To address this question we undertook a study of the geological history of coastal barrier dunes in Van Buren State Park, near South Haven, Michigan.
Van Buren State Park is 7 km to the south of the city of South Haven, 43 km south of the dunes near Holland, and 75 km north of Mount Baldy in the Indiana National Lakeshore (Figure 1).
Such low, gently dipping to horizontal surfaces now occur where low foredunes merge to form dune platforms (Buckler 1979) and this was apparently the landscape present in the early part of dune evolution at Van Buren State Park. The radiocarbon date on this soil from the north central segment indicates that these low dunes were buried by a fresh influx of eo lian sand between 4350-4020 cal.
Lakeshore erosion has exposed a series of buried soils in the large (up to 45m high) coastal barrier dunes at Van Buren State Park. The lowermost soil (above current lake levels) is a peat layer that can be traced for nearly a kilometer along the shore.