Rates of Holocene isostatic uplift and relative sea-level lowering of the Baltic in SW Finland based on studies of isolation contacts

M Eronen*, G Gluckert, L Hatakka, O Van De Plassche, J Van Der Plicht, P Rantala

*Corresponding author for this work

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Southwestern Finland was covered by the Weichselian ice sheet and experienced rapid glacio-isostatic rebound after early Holocene deglaciation. The present mean overall apparent uplift rate is of the order of 4-5 mm/yr, but immediately after deglaciation the rate of crustal rebound was several times higher. Concurrently with land uplift, relative sea level in the Baltic basin during the past more than 8000 years was also strongly affected by the eustatic changes in sea level. There is ample evidence from earlier studies that during the early Litorina Sea stage on the southeastern coast of Finland around 7000 yr BP (7800 cal. yr BP), the rise in sea level exceeded the rate of land uplift, resulting in a short-lived transgression. Because of a higher rate of uplift, the transgression was even more short-lived or of negligible magnitude in the southwestern part of coastal Finland, but even in this latter case a slowing down in the rate of regression can still be detected. We used evidence from isolation basins to obtain a set of 71 C-14 dates, and over 30 new sea-level index points. The age-elevation data, obtained from lakes in two different areas and located between c. 64 m and 1.5 m above present sea level, display a high degree of internal consistency. This suggests that the dates are reliable, even though most of them were based on bulk sediment samples. The two relative sea-level curves confirm the established model of relatively gradually decreasing rates of relative sea-level lowering since c. 6100 yr BP (7000 cal. yr BP) and clearly indicate that the more northerly of the two study areas experienced the higher rate of glacio-isostatic recovery. In the southerly study area, changes in diatom assemblages and lithostratigraphy suggest that during the early Litorina Sea stage (8300-7600 cal. yr BP) eustatic sea-level rise exceeded land uplift for hundreds of years. Evidence for this transgression was discovered in a lake with a basin threshold at an elevation of 41 m above sea level, which is markedly higher than any previously known site with evidence for the Litorina transgression in Finland. We also discuss evidence for subsequent short-term fluctuations superimposed on the main trends of relative sea-level changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-30
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2001


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