Arctic coastlines explained
(24 July 2007)
New research published in Geology by Pippa Whitehouse, Mark Allen and Glenn Milne accounts for a striking variation along the Siberian Arctic coastline. Rivers in east Siberia end in deltas, created since ~6500-8500 years ago. This is in common with global patterns. West Siberian rivers end in estuaries up to 900 km long. The study shows that this spatial variation is associated with the growth and decay of Eurasian ice sheets, and in particular the subsidence of a peripheral bulge in western Siberia: this has enhanced sea-level rise in the western Siberian Arctic, preventing the establishment of deltas at the mouths of the main rivers. The full reference is: Whitehouse, P.L., Allen, M.B. and Milne, G.A. (2007) Glacial isostatic adjustment as a control on coastal processes: An example from the Siberian Arctic, Geology, v. 35, p. 747-750.