A Highly Resolved Record of Relative Sea level in the Western Mediterranean Sea during the Last Interglacial Period
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
The magnitude and trajectory of sea-level change during marine isotope stage (MIS) 5e of the last interglacial period is uncertain. In general, sea level may have been 6–9 m above present sea level, with one or more oscillations of up to several metres superimposed. Here we present a well-dated relative sea-level record from the island of Mallorca in the western Mediterranean Sea for MIS-5e, based on the occurrence of phreatic overgrowths on speleothems forming near sea level. We find that relative sea-level in this region was within a range of 2.15 ± 0.75 m above present levels between 126,600 ± 400 and 116,000 ± 800 years ago, although centennial-scale excursions cannot be excluded due to some gaps in the speleothem record. We corrected our relative sea-level record for glacio-isostatic adjustment using nine different glacial isostatic models. Together, these models suggest that ice-equivalent sea-level in Mallorca peaked at the start of MIS-5e then gradually decreased and stabilized by 122,000 years ago, until the highstand termination 116,000 years ago. Our sea-level record does not support the hypothesis of rapid sea-level fluctuations within MIS-5e. Instead, we suggest that melting of the polar ice sheets occurred early in the interglacial period, followed by gradual ice-sheet growth.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Nature Geoscience, v. 11, p. 860-864
Scholar Commons Citation
Polyak, Victor J.; Onac, Bogdan P.; Fornos, Joan J.; Hay, Carling; Asmerom, Yemane; Dorale, Jeffrey A.; Ginés, Joaquín; Tuccimei, Paola; and Ginés, Angel, "A Highly Resolved Record of Relative Sea level in the Western Mediterranean Sea during the Last Interglacial Period" (2018). School of Geosciences Faculty and Staff Publications. 1915.