Research ArticleGEOPHYSICS

Detection of a dynamic topography signal in last interglacial sea-level records

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Science Advances  07 Jul 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 7, e1700457
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700457

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Estimating minimum ice volume during the last interglacial based on local sea-level indicators requires that these indicators are corrected for processes that alter local sea level relative to the global average. Although glacial isostatic adjustment is generally accounted for, global scale dynamic changes in topography driven by convective mantle flow are generally not considered. We use numerical models of mantle flow to quantify vertical deflections caused by dynamic topography and compare predictions at passive margins to a globally distributed set of last interglacial sea-level markers. The deflections predicted as a result of dynamic topography are significantly correlated with marker elevations (>95% probability) and are consistent with construction and preservation attributes across marker types. We conclude that a dynamic topography signal is present in the elevation of last interglacial sea-level records and that the signal must be accounted for in any effort to determine peak global mean sea level during the last interglacial to within an accuracy of several meters.

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