Résumé : Sediment cores are an essential tool for the analysis of the dynamics of mangrove succession. Coring was used to correlate changes in depositional environments and lateral sedimentary facies with discrete stages of forest succession at the Cananéia-Iguape Coastal System in southeastern Brazil. A local level successional pattern was examined based on four core series T1) a sediment bank; T2) a smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora bank; T3) an active mangrove progradation fringe dominated by Laguncularia racemosa, and; T4) a mature mangrove forest dominated by Avicennia schaueriana. Cores were macroscopically described in terms of color, texture, sedimentary structure and organic components. The base of all cores exhibited a similar pattern suggesting common vertical progressive changes in depositional conditions and subsequent successional colonization pattern throughout the forest. The progradation zone is an exposed bank, colonized by S. alterniflora. L. racemosa, replaces S. alterniflora as progradation takes place. As the substrate consolidates A. schaueriana replaces L. racemosa and attains the greatest structural development in the mature forest. Cores collected within the A. schaueriana dominated stand contained S. alterniflora fragments near the base, confirming that a smooth cordgrass habitat characterized the establishment and early seral stages. Cores provide a reliable approach to describe local-level successional sequences in dynamic settings subject to drivers operating on multiple temporal and spatial scales where spatial heterogeneity can lead to multiple equilibria and where similar successional end-points may be reached through convergent paths.