Effects of Sediment Loading in Northern Europe During the Last Glacial

Friday, 19 December 2014
MP IJpelaar, Delft University of Technology, Delft, 5612, Netherlands and Wouter van der Wal, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
Over the years the framework of GIA modelling has been subject to continuous improvements, e.g. the addition of time dependent coastal margins and rotational feedback. The latest addition to this framework is the incorporation of sediment as a time-varying surface load while accounting for sea-level variations associated with the sediment transport (Dalca et al., GJI 2013). The effects of sediment loading during a glacial cycle have not been extensively investigated even though it is known that large sediment transport took place, for example in the Barents Sea region and Fennoscandia. This study investigates the effect of sediment transport on relative sea level change and present-day rates of gravity and vertical deformation in those regions.

While the ice sheet history during the last glacial period has been modelled extensively there are no full-scale models of paleo-erosion and –deposition rates for regions such as Fennoscandia. Here we create end-member paleo-sedimentary models by combining geological observations of continuous erosion and deposition and large scale failure events. These models, in combination with the ICE-5G ice sheet history, serve as an input for a GIA model for a spherically symmetric incompressible Earth with the full sea-level equation.

The results from this model, i.e. (rates of) relative sea level change and crustal deformation, are obtained for different viscosity models fitting best with the local rheology of Fennoscandia. By comparing GPS measurements, GRACE observations and relative sea level records with these modelled predictions the effects of sedimentary isostasy in the Fennoscandian region are studied. The sediment load does not significantly affect the modelled relative sea level curves, nor vertical deformation rates at the location of GPS measurements. However, gravity rates over the Barents Sea region are influenced significantly