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Early–middle Holocene relative sea-level oscillation events recorded in a submerged speleothem from the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

Early–middle Holocene relative sea-level oscillation events recorded in a submerged speleothem from the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
Early–middle Holocene relative sea-level oscillation events recorded in a submerged speleothem from the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
Geomorphological and biological archives of relative sea-level change in the western North Atlantic-Caribbean region following the Last Glacial Maximum have traditionally supported the hypothesis of a punctuated rise towards the present sea level. Such records, however, are often at insufficient resolution to discern centennial-scale changes. In caves where the water table is closely controlled by sea level, active periods of speleothem growth constraining maximum sea level, used in combination with marine overgrowths constraining minimum sea level, are a promising alternative archive recording sea-level variability at higher resolution. Here, we present a U-Th-dated early–middle Holocene speleothem record from a submerged cave on the tectonically stable Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Our record shows that polychaetes (Annelida, Polychaeta) colonised a sub-aerially deposited stalagmite during four individual submergence events. Submergence events occurred at approximately 8.9, 8.6, 8.4 and 6.0?ka, which we attribute to previously unrecognised minor sea-level oscillation events (OE1–OE4) above and below ?6.12?±?0.1?m relative to present sea level (r.s.l.). Combining these results with mangrove-derived relative sea-level constraints from another submerged cave on the Yucatán Peninsula, we are able to suggest that OE1 and OE2 did not reach as high as ?5.26?m r.s.l., but that OE3 and OE4 exceeded ?5.22?m r.s.l. We conclude that subsidence of the North American ice-load bulge was the main cause of relative sea-level rise. Superimposed on the glacio-isostatic adjustment were periods of widespread northern hemisphere cooling and ice margin re-advance, resulting in a relative sea-level fall on four occasions during the early–middle Holocene.
0959-6836
1511-1521
Moseley, G.E.
2c3ea3a8-ec0f-49fa-8b5c-2b5518ab7848
Richards, D.A.
cc49a2e9-810f-4ff1-b018-c8c9d70f4695
Smart, P.L.
dd0584fe-8f40-488e-a358-7b0a3921c909
Standish, C.D.
0b996271-da5d-4c4f-9e05-a2ec90e8561d
Hoffmann, D.L.
a907ccc5-1e0b-4db1-a1d8-c79ab6778510
ten Hove, H.
00c5fc70-22e9-47f2-b27a-fbb4de0bb18b
Vinn, O.
4624b18f-a2b0-4f42-a828-edc025b6c3b1
Moseley, G.E.
2c3ea3a8-ec0f-49fa-8b5c-2b5518ab7848
Richards, D.A.
cc49a2e9-810f-4ff1-b018-c8c9d70f4695
Smart, P.L.
dd0584fe-8f40-488e-a358-7b0a3921c909
Standish, C.D.
0b996271-da5d-4c4f-9e05-a2ec90e8561d
Hoffmann, D.L.
a907ccc5-1e0b-4db1-a1d8-c79ab6778510
ten Hove, H.
00c5fc70-22e9-47f2-b27a-fbb4de0bb18b
Vinn, O.
4624b18f-a2b0-4f42-a828-edc025b6c3b1

Moseley, G.E., Richards, D.A., Smart, P.L., Standish, C.D., Hoffmann, D.L., ten Hove, H. and Vinn, O. (2015) Early–middle Holocene relative sea-level oscillation events recorded in a submerged speleothem from the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. The Holocene, 25, 1511-1521. (doi:10.1177/0959683615585832).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Geomorphological and biological archives of relative sea-level change in the western North Atlantic-Caribbean region following the Last Glacial Maximum have traditionally supported the hypothesis of a punctuated rise towards the present sea level. Such records, however, are often at insufficient resolution to discern centennial-scale changes. In caves where the water table is closely controlled by sea level, active periods of speleothem growth constraining maximum sea level, used in combination with marine overgrowths constraining minimum sea level, are a promising alternative archive recording sea-level variability at higher resolution. Here, we present a U-Th-dated early–middle Holocene speleothem record from a submerged cave on the tectonically stable Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Our record shows that polychaetes (Annelida, Polychaeta) colonised a sub-aerially deposited stalagmite during four individual submergence events. Submergence events occurred at approximately 8.9, 8.6, 8.4 and 6.0?ka, which we attribute to previously unrecognised minor sea-level oscillation events (OE1–OE4) above and below ?6.12?±?0.1?m relative to present sea level (r.s.l.). Combining these results with mangrove-derived relative sea-level constraints from another submerged cave on the Yucatán Peninsula, we are able to suggest that OE1 and OE2 did not reach as high as ?5.26?m r.s.l., but that OE3 and OE4 exceeded ?5.22?m r.s.l. We conclude that subsidence of the North American ice-load bulge was the main cause of relative sea-level rise. Superimposed on the glacio-isostatic adjustment were periods of widespread northern hemisphere cooling and ice margin re-advance, resulting in a relative sea-level fall on four occasions during the early–middle Holocene.

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Accepted/In Press date: 14 April 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 2 June 2015
Organisations: Geography & Environment

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Local EPrints ID: 377665
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/377665
ISSN: 0959-6836
PURE UUID: fd08a1b9-3098-4f29-9067-055afb6551c1

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Date deposited: 17 Jun 2015 13:07
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 20:57

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Author: G.E. Moseley
Author: D.A. Richards
Author: P.L. Smart
Author: C.D. Standish
Author: D.L. Hoffmann
Author: H. ten Hove
Author: O. Vinn

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