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Christof Pearce

Deglacial sea level history of the East Siberian Sea and Chukchi Sea margins

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  • Thomas M. Cronin, United States Geological Survey
  • ,
  • Matt O'Regan, Stockholm University
  • ,
  • Christof Pearce
  • Laura Gemery, United States Geological Survey
  • ,
  • Michael Toomey, United States Geological Survey
  • ,
  • Igor Semiletov, Russian Academy of Sciences, Tomsk National Research Polytechnic University
  • ,
  • Martin Jakobsson, Stockholm University

Deglacial (12.8-10.7ka) sea level history on the East Siberian continental shelf and upper continental slope was reconstructed using new geophysical records and sediment cores taken during Leg 2 of the 2014 SWERUS-C3 expedition. The focus of this study is two cores from Herald Canyon, piston core SWERUS-L2-4-PC1 (4-PC1) and multicore SWERUS-L2-4-MC1 (4-MC1), and a gravity core from an East Siberian Sea transect, SWERUS-L2-20-GC1 (20-GC1). Cores 4-PC1 and 20-GC were taken at 120 and 115m of modern water depth, respectively, only a few meters above the global last glacial maximum (LGM; ∼ 24 kiloannum or ka) minimum sea level of ∼ 125-130 meters below sea level (mb.s.l.). Using calibrated radiocarbon ages mainly on molluscs for chronology and the ecology of benthic foraminifera and ostracode species to estimate paleodepths, the data reveal a dominance of river-proximal species during the early part of the Younger Dryas event (YD, Greenland Stadial GS-1) followed by a rise in river-intermediate species in the late Younger Dryas or the early Holocene (Preboreal) period. A rapid relative sea level rise beginning at roughly 11.4 to 10.8ka (∼400cm of core depth) is indicated by a sharp faunal change and unconformity or condensed zone of sedimentation. Regional sea level at this time was about 108mb.s.l. at the 4-PC1 site and 102mb.s.l. at 20-GC1. Regional sea level near the end of the YD was up to 42-47m lower than predicted by geophysical models corrected for glacio-isostatic adjustment. This discrepancy could be explained by delayed isostatic adjustment caused by a greater volume and/or geographical extent of glacial-age land ice and/or ice shelves in the western Arctic Ocean and adjacent Siberian land areas.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClimate of the Past
Pages (from-to)1097-1110
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

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