The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Evidence for centennial scale sea level variability during the Medieval Climate Optimum (Crusader Period) in Israel, eastern Mediterranean

Toker, E., Sivan, D., Stern, E., Shirman, B., Tsimplis, M. and Spada, G. (2012) Evidence for centennial scale sea level variability during the Medieval Climate Optimum (Crusader Period) in Israel, eastern Mediterranean Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 315-316, pp. 51-61. (doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2011.07.019).

Record type: Article


The current study provides evidence supporting a sea-level drop of up to about 50 ± 20 cm at the eastern coasts of the Mediterranean basin during the period AD 900–1300. The estimate is based on a variety of archaeological remains, mostly from the Crusader period, compared with other archaeological and biological proxies of sea level from the periods before and after.

The Crusader low levels overlap the period known as the ‘Medieval Warm Period’ (MWP) or the ‘Medieval Climate Anomaly’ (MCA). On the basis of published data it appears that a positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) phase coincided with a negative Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), the former affecting the temperature and freshwater flux in the Mediterranean Sea and most of its rivers, and the latter affecting the Nile outflow. Changes of 0.125 psu in salinity and 0.4 °C are estimated as upper limits for the change, and these are expected to cause a sea-level drop consistent in magnitude with the observed values. These provide the upper limit for a regional climate-forcing attribution of the observed sea level low. The possibility of crustal uplifts contributing to the observed changes is also discussed.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 15 January 2012
Keywords: sea-level, archaeological sea-level indications, Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), positive NAO conditions, east Mediterranean
Organisations: Marine Physics and Ocean Climate


Local EPrints ID: 300708
ISSN: 0012-821X
PURE UUID: b5b3656f-e133-446f-ae23-11dbe9570c56

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 Feb 2012 17:10
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:14

Export record



Author: E. Toker
Author: D. Sivan
Author: E. Stern
Author: B. Shirman
Author: M. Tsimplis
Author: G. Spada

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.