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Speleothem evidence for MIS 5c and 5a sea level above modern level at Bermuda

Wainer, Karine A.I.; Rowe, Mark P.; Thomas, Alexander L.; Mason, Andrew J.; Williams, Bruce; Tamisiea, Mark E.; Williams, Felicity H.; Düsterhus, André; Henderson, Gideon M.. 2017 Speleothem evidence for MIS 5c and 5a sea level above modern level at Bermuda. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 457. 325-334. 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.10.005

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Abstract/Summary

The history of sea level in regions impacted by glacio-isostasy provides constraints on past ice-sheet distribution and on the characteristics of deformation of the planet in response to loading. The Western North Atlantic–Caribbean region, and Bermuda in particular, is strongly affected by the glacial forebulge that forms as a result of the Laurentide ice-sheet present during glacial periods. The timing of growth of speleothems, at elevations close to sea level can provide records of minimum relative sea level (RSL). In this study we used U–Th dating to precisely date growth periods of speleothems from Bermuda which were found close to modern-day sea level. Results suggest that RSL at this location was above modern during MIS5e, MIS5c and MIS5a. These data support controversial previous indications that Bermudian RSL was significantly higher than RSL at other locations during MIS 5c and MIS 5a. We confirm that it is possible to explain a wide range of MIS5c-a relative sea levels observed across the Western North Atlantic–Caribbean in glacial isostatic adjustment models, but only with a limited range of mantle deformation constants. This study demonstrates the particular power of Bermuda as a gauge for response of the forebulge to glacial loading, and demonstrates the potential for highstands at this location to be significantly higher than in other regions, helping to explain the high sea levels observed for Bermuda from earlier highstands.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.10.005
ISSN: 0012821X
Additional Keywords: speleothem; sea level; Bermuda; isostasy; U–Th ages; forebulge
Date made live: 16 Jan 2017 14:59 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/515867

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