Monday, May 23, 2011

Refining the eustatic sea-level curve since the Last Glacial Maximum using far and intermediate field sites

(a) The eustatic curve of the nominal ice model. 
(b) The eustatic contributions since the Last Glacial Maximum for the three principle ice sheets
(Figure 3 from the paper)

Fleming et al


The eustatic component of relative sea-level change provides a measure of the amount of ice transferred between the continents and oceans during glacial cycles. This has been quantified for the period since the Last Glacial Maximum by correcting observed sea-level change for the glacio-hydro-isostatic contributions using realistic ice distribution and earth models. During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) the eustatic sea level was 125 plus or minus 5 m lower than the present day, equivalent to a land-based ice volume of .4:6–4:9/ 107 km3. Evidence for a non-uniform rise in eustatic sea level from the LGM to the end of the deglaciation is examined. The initial rate of rise from ca. 21 to 17 ka was relatively slow with an average rate of ca. 6 m/ka, followed by an average rate of ca. 10 m/ka for the next 10 ka. Significant departures from these average rates may have occurred at the time of the Younger Dryas and possibly also around 14 ka. Most of the decay of the large ice sheets was completed by 7 ka, but 3–5 m of water has been added to the oceans since that time.

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