- © 2006 Geological Society of South Africa
The complex geomorphology of South Africa’s southern Cape coastal belt comprises Gondwana components and a suite of Quaternary sedimentary deposits, superimposed on the older landscape. Of these, the Wilderness aeolianites have previously been reported. This paper is the second of two which focus on the inland coversands. It has a three-fold purpose. Firstly, it provides new information on the sedimentology and geomorphic context of the coversands. Secondly, it suggests a temporal setting for the emplacement of the coversands. Thirdly, the relationship between the coversands, landscape evolution, the Wilderness aeolianites, and the potential of the coversands to serve as indicators of environmental change are examined. The description is preceded by a synopsis of the development of the southern Cape coastal belt. The gross geomorphology of the region was well established by the Middle Pleistocene, but that landscape has been modified since then, and into the Holocene, by sea level and climatic fluctuations. Evidence for southern Cape Quaternary sand deposits predating MIS 5 is only now emerging. The coversands examined in this paper are demonstrated to be both temporally and spatially discrete from the younger coastal aeolianite deposits. A Middle Pleistocene age is tentatively ascribed to the coversands.