- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- GSA Bulletin
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Abstract Lithology and microfossil biostratigraphy beneath the marshes of a central Oregon estuary limit geophysical models of Cascadia megathrust rupture during successive earthquakes by ruling out >0.5 m of coseismic coastal subsidence for the past 2000 yr. Although the stratigraphy in cores and outcrops includes as many as 12 peat-mud contacts, like those commonly inferred to record subsidence during megathrust earthquakes, mapping, qualitative diatom analysis, foraminiferal transfer function analysis, and 14C dating of the contacts failed to confirm that any contacts formed through subsidence during great earthquakes. Based on the youngest peat-mud contact’s distinctness, >400 m distribution, ∼0.6 m depth, and overlying probable tsunami deposit, we attribute it to the great 1700 CE Cascadia earthquake and(or) its accompanying tsunami. Minimal changes in diatom assemblages from below the contact to above its probable tsunami deposit suggest that the lower of several foraminiferal transfer function reconstructions of coseismic subsidence across the contact (0.1–0.5 m) is most accurate. The more limited stratigraphic extent and minimal changes in lithology, foraminifera, and(or) diatom assemblages across the other 11 peat-mud contacts are insufficient to distinguish them from contacts formed through small, gradual, or localized changes in tide levels during river floods, storm surges, and gradual sea-level rise. Although no data preclude any contacts from being synchronous with a megathrust earthquake, the evidence is equally consistent with all contacts recording relative sea-level changes below the ∼0.5 m detection threshold for distinguishing coseismic from nonseismic changes.more » « less
Coastal subsidence, dating of plant remains and tree rings, and evidence for tsunami inundation point to coseismic activity on a sizable portion of the Cascadia subduction zone around three centuries ago. A tsunami of remote origin in 1700 C.E., probably from Cascadia, caused flooding and damage in Japan. In previous modeling, this transpacific evidence was found most simply explained by one Cascadia rupture about 1,000 km long. Here I model tens of thousands of ruptures and simulate their subsidence and tsunami signals and show that it is possible that the earthquake was part of a sequence of several events. Partial rupture of ∼400 km offshore southern Oregon and northern California in one large M ≥ 8.7 earthquake can explain the tsunami in Japan without conflicting with the subsidence. As many as four more earthquakes with M ≤ 8.7 can complete the subsidence signal without their tsunamis being large enough to be recorded in Japan. The purpose of this study is not to find a single, most likely, scenario or disprove the single‐rupture hypothesis favored by alternative evidence such as turbidites. Rather, it demonstrates that a multiple rupture sequence may explain part of the available data, and therefore cannot be discounted. Given the gaps in the presently available estimates of subsidence it is also possible that segments of the megathrust, for example from Copalis to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, did not rupture in 1700. The findings have significant implications for Cascadia geodynamics and how earthquake and tsunami hazards in the region are quantified.
Abstract Recent ice-mass loss driven by warming along the Antarctic Peninsula has resulted in rapid changes in uplift rates across the region. Are such events only a function of recent warming? If not, does the Earth response to such events last long enough to be preserved in Holocene records of relative sea level (RSL), and thus have a bearing on global-scale glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) models (e.g. ICE-6G)? Answering such questions in Antarctica is hindered by the scarcity of RSL reconstructions within the region. Here, a new RSL reconstruction for Antarctica is presented based on beach ridges from Joinville Island on the Antarctic Peninsula. We find that RSL has fallen 4.9 ± 0.58 m over the past 3100 yr, and that the island experienced a significant increase in the rate of RSL fall from 1540 ± 125 cal. (calibrated) yr B.P. to 1320 ± 125 cal. yr B.P. This increase in the rate of RSL fall is likely due to the viscoelastic response of the solid Earth to terrestrial ice-mass loss from the Antarctic Peninsula, similar to the Earth response experienced after ice-mass loss following acceleration of glaciers behind the collapsed Larsen B ice shelf in 2002 C.E. Additionally, slower rates of beach-ridge progradation from 695 ± 190 cal. yr B.P. to 235 ± 175 cal. yr B.P. potentially reflect erosion of beach ridges from a RSL rise induced by a local glacial advance. The rapid response of the Earth to minor ice-mass changes recorded in the RSL record further supports recent assertions of a more responsive Earth to glacial unloading and at time scales relevant for GIA of Holocene and Pleistocene sea levels. Thus, current continental and global GIA models may not accurately capture the ice-mass changes of the Antarctic ice sheets at decadal and centennial time scales.more » « less
Nares Strait, a major connection between the Arctic Ocean and Baffin Bay, was blocked by coalescent Innuitian and Greenland ice sheets during the last glaciation. This paper focuses on the events and processes leading to the opening of the strait and the environmental response to establishment of the Arctic‐Atlantic throughflow. The study is based on sedimentological, mineralogical and foraminiferal analyses of radiocarbon‐dated cores 2001
LSSL‐0014 PCand TCfrom northern Baffin Bay. Radiocarbon dates on benthic foraminifera were calibrated with ΔR = 220±20 years. Basal compact pebbly mud is interpreted as a subglacial deposit formed by glacial overriding of unconsolidated marine sediments. It is overlain by ice‐proximal (red/grey laminated, ice‐proximal glaciomarine unit barren of foraminifera and containing >2 mm clasts interpreted as ice‐rafted debris) to ice‐distal (calcareous, grey pebbly mud with foraminifera indicative of a stratified water column with chilled Atlantic Water fauna and species associated with perennial and then seasonal sea ice cover) glacial marine sediment units. The age model indicates ice retreat into Smith Sound as early as c.11.7 and as late as c.11.2 cal. ka BPfollowed by progressively more distal glaciomarine conditions as the ice margin retreated toward the Kennedy Channel. We hypothesize that a distinct IRDlayer deposited between 9.3 and 9 (9.4–8.9 1σ) cal. ka BPmarks the break‐up of ice in Kennedy Channel resulting in the opening of Nares Strait as an Arctic‐Atlantic throughflow. Overlying foraminiferal assemblages indicate enhanced marine productivity consistent with entry of nutrient‐rich Arctic Surface Water. A pronounced rise in agglutinated foraminifers and sand‐sized diatoms, and loss of detrital calcite characterize the uppermost bioturbated mud, which was deposited after 4.8 (3.67–5.55 1σ) cal. ka BP. The timing of the transition is poorly resolved as it coincides with the slow sedimentation rates that ensued after the ice margins retreated onto land.
Abstract We leverage a data set of >720 shell-bearing marine deposits throughout southeastern Alaska (USA) to develop updated relative sea-level curves that span the past ∼14,000 yr. This data set includes site location, elevation, description when available, and 436 14C ages, 45 of which are published here for the first time. Our sea-level curves suggest a peripheral forebulge developed west of the retreating Cordilleran Ice Sheet (CIS) margin between ca. 17,000 and 10,800 calibrated yr B.P. By 14,870 ± 630 to 12,820 ± 340 cal. yr B.P., CIS margins had retreated from all of southeastern Alaska's fjords, channels, and passages. At this time, isolated or stranded ice caps existed on the islands, with alpine or tidewater glaciers in many valleys. Paleoshorelines up to 25 m above sea level mark the maximum elevation of transgression in the southern portion of the study region, which was achieved by 11,000 ± 390 to 10,500 ± 420 cal. yr B.P. The presence of Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax) and the abundance of charcoal in sediments that date between 11,000 ± 390 and 7630 ± 90 cal. yr B.P. suggest that both ocean and air temperatures in southeastern Alaska were relatively warm in the early Holocene. The sea-level and paleoenvironmental reconstruction presented here can inform future investigations into the glacial, volcanic, and archaeological history of southeastern Alaska.more » « less