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    Anomalous MIS 7 sea level recorded on Bermuda

    Rowe, Mark P. and Wainer, K.A.I. and Bristow, Charlie S. and Thomas, A.L. (2014) Anomalous MIS 7 sea level recorded on Bermuda. Quaternary Science Reviews 90 , pp. 47-59. ISSN 0277-3791.

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    Abstract

    Three new U-series ages from coral fragments found in the Belmont Formation of Bermuda fall in a range of ∼198 ka to ∼196 ka. These late MIS 7 ages are consistent with those of ∼201 ka and ∼199 ka measured in a previous study. The disputed interpretation of the Belmont Formation as a unit that is allostratigraphically distinct from subsequent MIS 5e deposits, of the Rocky Bay Formation, is vindicated by a minimum age of 196 ± 3 ka for the total of 6 coral fragments it has yielded. Emergent marine deposits of the Belmont Formation include sedimentary lithofacies that are considered to be reliable relative sea level indicators. Prominent among these is a facies representing the “beach step”: a feature that develops sub-tidally, directly at the base of the swash zone. From this facies, and others preserved along 6 km of Belmont Formation coastal exposure, it is concluded that MIS 7 relative mean sea level reached +4.5 m, and likely peaked at or above +6.0 m, relative to present sea level at Bermuda. Lower MIS 7 sea level positions that are evidenced and that have been quoted, in the past, are considered transitory positions, not maxima. The MIS 7 sea-level elevations on Bermuda, reconstructed in this study, are above the majority of those reported from elsewhere in the world. This challenges the long-standing notion of Bermuda as a vertically stable “tide-gauge”, but is consistent with glacio-hydroisostatic models which predict land-mass subsidence at intermediate field sites, such as Bermuda, at the end of long interglacials. However, because of evidence of instability at Bermuda in the form of seismic activity and faulting, which require further investigation, judgement is reserved on the global implications of this palaeo-sea-level anomaly.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Bermuda, Sea level, Corals, U-series dating, Quaternary, Faulting, Glacio-isostasy
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2014 09:33
    Last Modified: 17 Mar 2014 09:33
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/9346

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