Sea-level development along the NE German Baltic Sea coast

The sea level rise due to climate change is superimposed in the region NE German Baltic Sea by an isostatic component. This was acknowledged by the author team led by Reinhard Lampe from the University of Greifswald in an already available online article in the upcoming issue Vol 59 No. 1-2 of E&G - Quaternary Science Journal. The article is entitled "Relative sea-level development and isostasy along the NE German Baltic Sea coast during the past 9 ka." and was part of the research project SINCOS (Sinking Coasts - Geosphere, Ecosphere and Anthroposphere of the Holocene Southern Baltic Sea).


The following is the abstract of the article.


Recent gauge data from coastal NE-Germany (Baltic Sea) suggest that the eustatic component of the observed sea-level record is superimposed by a spatially different non-eustatic, predominantly glacio-isostatic component. To investigate to which amount the past sea level was influenced by these two components, we traced the sea-level history back as far as the coastal sediment sequence allowed. Three new relative sea-level curves have been established, two of them are presented here for the first time. The curves are based on numerous AMS-radiocarbon data from sea-level index points such as basal peat layers, archaeological underwater finds and from peat profiles taken in coastal mires. Although the validity of the mire samples is questionable due to possible compaction reliable results were gained by cross-checking data from different palaeo-environments against each other. The three sea-level curves established cover the period from today back to 6,000 or 7,000 BC to the present and diverge regularly with increasing age. A shoreline diagram reveals that no tectonic events disturbed the spatial movement pattern significantly. For the determination of the isostatic component the sea-level curves were compared with one from the Belgian coast (Denys/Baeteman 1995), which is assumed to be tectonically and isostatically more stable and therefore shows the eustatic component only. The comparison suggests that the SW section of the German Baltic coast is still slightly submerging probably due to glacial forebulge decay. While at the central section the isostatic uplift faded out a few thousand years ago, it is still going on in the northern section. Here, the maximal uplift during the past 9 ka amounts to about 6 m relative to the Belgian coast.


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