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A new record of Holocene sea-level change in the Thames Estuary and its implications for geophysical modelling

By Nicole S. Khan, Christopher H. Vane, Benjamin P. Horton and Sarah Fackler


Much of our understanding of the processes related to landand\ud relative sea-level (RSL) movements comes from glacioisostatic\ud adjustment (GIA) models that are validated by RSL\ud reconstructions from coastal sedimentary records. These GIA\ud models play an important role in the prediction of the future rise\ud in sea level [1]. While there have been advancements in both\ud RSL reconstruction techniques and GIA models over the past\ud decade, there still exists disagreement of the order of metres\ud between the two. In other large estuaries in the UK, there has\ud been work to reconstruct RSL using high-precision microfossil\ud transfer functions and state-of-the-art tidal models to correct\ud for changes over time; however, neither of these have been\ud incorporated in the Thames [3] [4]. Additionally, the existent sealevel\ud data from the Thames is uneven in its spatial distribution\ud and the majority of the data is reliant on intercalated sediments,\ud which introduce large errors in RSL reconstructions (Figure 1).\ud Therefore, the overall aim of this study is to estimate the local\ud impacts of sediment compaction and tidal range change on this\ud and other RSL reconstructions in the Thames in order to provide\ud the best possible constraints for GIA models

Year: 2011
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