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Holocene-era submerged notches along the southern Levantine coastline: Punctuated sea level rise?

Goodman-Tchernov, Beverly, Katz, Oded
Quaternary international 2016 v.401 pp. 17-27
coasts, rocks, sea level, tectonics
The study presented here reports on erosional notches, pits, and potholes observed at present sea level and submerged at a series of sites along the southern Levantine coastline. For such submerged features to be formed and preserved, there must be a period of relative sea level stagnation, followed by drowning. This process can occur in response to sea level change, tectonic or isostatic offsets. The specific coastline hosting these features is not considered tectonically or isostatically affected, and therefore, for much of the Mediterranean, is viewed as a eustatic sea level reference point. While similar features have been observed elsewhere in the eastern Mediterranean, confining their ages has been difficult due to the much older ages of the host rocks, in many cases encompassing multiple glacial cycles. Here, for the first time they are located in relatively young host rock (<65,000 years) confining their production age to the most recent glacial cycle. These features might suggest that a step-like, more punctuated process of sea-level rise occurred along this coastline, providing a window into what might be expected in the future as warming trends continue and the sea level responds.