A Reconstruction of late Pleistocene Relative Sea Level in the South Bohai Sea, China, Based on Sediment Grain-size Analysis

Publication Title

Sedimentary Geology

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sea-level reconstruction, sediment grain size, mathematical partitioning, late pleistocene, Bohai Sea (China)




Future anthropogenic sea-level rise and its impact on coastal regions is an important issue facing human civilizations. Due to the short nature of the instrumental record of sea-level change, development of proxies for sea-level change prior to the advent of instrumental records is essential to reconstruct long-term background sea-level changes on local, regional and global scales. Here, we employ numerical methods to partition sediment grain size using a combined database of marine surface and core samples, and to quantitatively reconstruct sea-level variation since the late Pleistocene in the south Bohai Sea, China. Our sea-level reconstruction indicates that relative sea-level changes in the southern Bohai Sea track global sea-level variation for the duration of the record. The results also indicate substantial regression from 70 to 30 cal kyr BP, and potentially subarial exposure from 38 to 20 cal kyr BP. Our results document the feasibility of reconstructing relative sea-level change by numerical partitioning of sediment grain size data, demonstrating the potential for future applications.