HOLOCENE RELATIVE SEA-LEVEL CHANGES IN SOUTH HINNØYA, ARCTIC NORWAY
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This study develops techniques for the preparation and counting of testate amoebae for Holocene sea-level reconstructions. In addition, this study provides a ~3000 year relative sea-level reconstruction for south Hinnøya in the Vesterålen islands off mainland Norway, adding new data to a poorly defined period of the Holocene sea-level history of north-western Norway. This is important to quantify rates of glacial-isostatic adjustment (GIA), to refine GIA models, and to establish baseline (pre-industrial) rates of relative sea-level change. Surface sediments from two salt marshes (Storosen and Svinøyosen) in south Hinnøya are used to assess the effects of using different preparation procedures and count totals when analysing for testate amoebae. Analytical efficiency can be improved upon by using a mild alkali, chemical disaggregant (5 % KOH) to break up fibrous salt-marsh sediment and concentrate tests prior to counting. A count total of 100 individuals, rather than 150, can be used to make time gains with little or no effects on assemblages. Training sets of salt-marsh surface testate amoebae, foraminifera and elevational data are established for the two field sites. For testate amoebae, species – elevation relationships are constructed using regression modelling and applied to downcore fossil samples using a transfer function to derive estimates of sea level for the past ~100 years. The greater water depths reconstructed between ~3000 and ~100 years ago are not covered by modern foraminiferal training sets and are therefore estimated qualitatively from the fossil foraminiferal assemblages supplemented by information derived from fossil molluscs. Chronology is based on a combination of AMS14C, 210Pb, 137Cs and a suite of geochemical markers. At south Hinnøya, sea level has been falling at a rate of ~0.5 mm yr-1 over the last 3000 years.
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