Departmental Research Projects
Publication detailsPlets, R.M.K., Callard, S.L., Cooper, J.A.G., Long, A.J., Quinn, R.J., Belknap, D.F., Edwards, R.J., Jackson, D.W.T., Kelley, J.T., Long, D., Milne, G.A. & Monteys, X. Late Quaternary evolution and sea-level history of a glaciated marine embayment, Bantry Bay, SW Ireland. Marine Geology. 2015;369:251-272.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 0025-3227 (print)
- DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2015.08.021
- Keywords: Relative sea-level change, Post-glacial transgression, Multibeam echosounder, Seismo-stratigraphy, Litho-stratigraphy, Bantry Bay.
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
Ireland experienced a spatially complex pattern of relative sea-level (RSL) changes and shoreline development caused by the interplay of isostatic and eustatic (ice equivalent sea level) processes since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Using a combination of high-resolution marine geophysical data, vibrocores, foraminiferal analysis and 10 AMS radiocarbon dates, we reconstruct the Late Quaternary evolution and RSL history of Bantry Bay, a large (40 km long, 5–10 km wide) embayment in SW Ireland.
The data indicate two infill phases: one before and one after the LGM, separated by glacial and lowstand sediments. The pre-LGM history is not dated and the depositional history is inferred. A large sediment lobe formed at the outer edge of Bantry Bay as a lowstand ice-proximal glacimarine outwash system as the ice retreated after the LGM, at a sea level ca. 80 m lower than present. Iceberg scour immediately west of this location likely relate to the break-up of the local Kerry–Cork Ice Cap. Long curvilinear ridges, seen both offshore and on top of the sediment lobe, probably formed as shoreface ridges under stronger-than-present tidal currents during a period of RSL stability (pre-14.6 ka cal BP). A subsequent infill phase is characterised by a basin-wide erosional (ravinement) surface and the deposition of inter- and sub-tidal estuarine sediments. Although our data support the general trends, our stratigraphic and radiocarbon data suggest a higher sea level between 11 and 13.5 ka cal BP than predicted by existing glacial isostatic adjustment models.