University of Oulu

Dalton, A. S., Gowan, E. J., Mangerud, J., Möller, P., Lunkka, J. P., and Astakhov, V.: Last interglacial sea-level proxies in the glaciated Northern Hemisphere, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 14, 1447–1492,, 2022

Last interglacial sea-level proxies in the glaciated Northern Hemisphere

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Author: Dalton, April S.1; Gowan, Evan J.2,3,4; Mangerud, Jan5;
Organizations: 1Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
2Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan
3Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
4MARUM, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
5Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway
6Department of Geology, Quaternary Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
7Geology Research Group, Oulu Mining School, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 9000, Oulu 90014, Finland
8Institute of Earth Sciences, St. Petersburg University, Universitetskaya 7/9, 199034, St. Petersburg, Russia
9A. P. Karpinsky Russian Geological Research Institute (VSEGEI), Sredny pr. 74, 199178, St. Petersburg, Russia
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 24.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Copernicus Publications, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-09-05


Because global sea level during the last interglacial (LIG; 130–115 ka) was higher than today, the LIG is a useful approximate analogue for improving predictions of future sea-level rise. Here, we synthesize sea-level proxies for the LIG in the glaciated Northern Hemisphere for inclusion in the World Atlas of Last Interglacial Shorelines (WALIS) database. We describe 82 sites from Russia, northern Europe, Greenland and North America from a variety of settings, including boreholes, riverbank exposures and along coastal cliffs. Marine sediments at these sites were constrained to the LIG using a variety of radiometric methods (radiocarbon, uranium–thorium, potassium–argon), non-radiometric methods (amino acid dating, luminescence methods, electron spin resonance, tephrochronology) as well as various stratigraphic and palaeo-environmental approaches. In general, the sites reported in this paper do not offer constraint on the global LIG highstand, but rather evidence of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA)-influenced sea-level positions following the Marine Isotope Stage 6 glaciation (MIS 6; 191–130 ka). Most of the proxies suggest that sea level was much higher during the LIG than at the present time. Moreover, many of the sites show evidence of regression due to sea-level fall (owing to glacial isostatic uplift), and some also show fluctuations that may reflect regrowth of continental ice or increased influence of the global sea-level signal. In addition to documenting LIG sea-level sites in a large swath of the Northern Hemisphere, this compilation is highly relevant for reconstructing the size of MIS 6 ice sheets through GIA modelling. The database is available at (Dalton et al., 2021).

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Series: Earth system science data
ISSN: 1866-3508
ISSN-E: 1866-3516
ISSN-L: 1866-3508
Volume: 14
Pages: 1447 - 1492
DOI: 10.5194/essd-14-1447-2022
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1171 Geosciences
Funding: Funding for Evan J. Gowan was provided through a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, Helmholtz Exzellenznetzwerks “The Polar System and its Effects on the Ocean Floor (POSY)” and Helmholtz Climate Initiative REKLIM (Regional Climate Change), a joint research project at the Helmholtz Association of German research centres (HGF). Fieldwork for Jan Mangerud was funded by several consecutive grants from the Research Council of Norway. Specific project funding for research on Taimyr/Russia was provided through grants from the Swedish Natural Science Research Council (VR) to Per Möller (contract nos. G-650-199815671/2000 and 621-2008-3759) and logistics were mainly arranged and, to a large extent, funded by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat (SPRS). Fieldwork for Juha P. Lunkka was funded by the Academy of Finland and the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. Overview of Russian sites by Valery Astakhov was performed according to the research plan of the St. Petersburg State University, Russia. This study was also supported by the PACES-II program at the Alfred Wegener Institute and the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung funded project, PalMod. The WALIS database was developed by the ERC Starting Grant “Warmcoasts” (ERC-StG-802414) and PALSEA. PALSEA is a working group of the International Union for Quaternary Sciences (INQUA) and Past Global Changes (PAGES), which in turn received support from the Swiss Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Copyright information: © Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.