The genetic relation between the onset of a marine transgression and the consequent upbuilding of three ancient sandwave complexes is discussed and illustrated. These are: a. The Lower Tertiary Roda sandwave complex of the southern Pyrenean basin. b. The Lower Greensand sandwave complex of the Isle of Wight. c. The Miocene sandwave complex of the Swiss Molasse. Based on these examples, a model for the formation of a sandwave complex in relation to a marine transgression and tidal action is developed. Finally, based on geological arguments derived from the sequential and structural analysis of these ancient sandwave complexes, the genesis of the modern sandwaves of the North Sea is related to the Holocene transgression
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