Postglacial sea-level history of Edgeøya and Barentsøya, eastern Svalbard

  • Stein Bondevik
  • Jan Mangerud
  • Lars Ronnert
  • Otto Salvigsen


Four relative sea-level curves from Edgeøya and Barentsøya are constructed based on 81 radiocarbon age determinations on carefully selected and levelled samples in raised beaches, mostly driftwood embedded in beach gravel. All the dates, covering the period from the deglaciation to the present, are calibrated to calendar years, and the sea-level curves are defined by fitting the data with a least square regression curve. The dates are internally very consistent, and the results are some of the most precise sea-level curves from the Arctic. The four curves are quite similar, and from the marine limit at 85-90 m a.s.l. they show a rapid emergence (ca 40 mm/year), formed about 11,000 cal yrs BP (?10,00014C yrs BP). A minimum rate of emergence close to 8000 cal years ago is explained by a decreased rate in isostatic uplift parallel with a sustained rate of eustatic sea-level rise. During the last 7000 cal years, the emergence rate has decreased linearly. The uplift rates have been slightly higher on southern Edgeøya than further north during the last 7000 years. By comparing the sea-level curves from Storøya (ca 270 km to the north) and Hopen (ca 150 km to the south), we suggest that a memory of an earlier and larger glacio-isostatic downwarping in the southern Barents Sea is detected in the sea-level curves from Hopen and southern Edgeøya.


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How to Cite
Bondevik, S., Mangerud, J., Ronnert, L., & Salvigsen, O. (1995). Postglacial sea-level history of Edgeøya and Barentsøya, eastern Svalbard. Polar Research, 14(2), 153-180.

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