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Authors: Stocchi, P.*
Spada, G.*
Title: Glacio and hydro-isostasy in the Mediterranean Sea: Clark’s zones and role of remote ice sheets
Issue Date: Dec-2007
Series/Report no.: 6/50 (2007)
Keywords: sea-level variations
glacial isostasy
Mediterranean Sea
Abstract: Solving the sea-level equation for a spherically symmetric Earth we study the relative sea-level curves in the Mediterranean Sea in terms of Clark’s zones and we explore their sensitivity to the time-history of Late-Pleistocene ice aggregates. Since the Mediterranean is an intermediate field region with respect to the former ice sheets, glacio- and hydro-isostasy both contribute to sea-level variations throughout the Holocene. In the bulk of the basin, subsidence of the sea floor results in a monotonous sea-level rise, whereas along continental margins water loading produces the effect of «continental levering», which locally originates marked highstands followed by a sea-level fall. To describe such peculiar pattern of relative sea-level in this and other mid-latitude closed basins we introduce a new Clark’s zone (namely, Clark’s zone VII). Using a suite of publicly available ice sheet chronologies, we identify for the first time a distinct sensitivity of predictions to the Antarctic ice sheet. In particular, we show that the history of mid to Late Holocene sea-level variations along the coasts of SE Tunisia may mainly reflect the melting of Antarctica, by a consequence of a mutual cancellation of the effects from the Northern Hemisphere ice-sheets at this specific site. Ice models incorporating a delayed melting of Antarctica may account for the observations across the Mediterranean, but fail to reproduce the SE Tunisia highstand.
Appears in Collections:03.02.99. General or miscellaneous
Annals of Geophysics

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