Delayed Postglacial Uplift and Synglacial Sea Levels in Coastal Central New England

Quaternary Research

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The postglacial uplift pattern indicated by elevations of ice-marginal glaciomarine deltas in coastal New England, deposited between approximately 15,000 and 14,000 yr B.P. during ice retreat from northeastern Massachusetts into southwestern Maine, is very similar to that previously recorded for glaciolacustrine deltas of similar age from inland areas of New England. Multiple regression analyses of elevations from both sets of deltas show an extremely close fit to tilted flat surfaces that rise 0.852 m/km to the N 28.5??W along the coast and 0.889 m/km to the N 20.5??W in western New England. The close similarity of uplift pattern in areas where elevation data are from different base-level media, along with additional shore-line evidence, indicates (1) that both areas are part of the same crustal postglacial uplift block, (2) that postglacial uplift was delayed until after 14,000 yr B.P., and (3) that little or no eustatic sea-level change occurred between 15,000 and 14,000 yr B.P., during which time the margin of the late Wisconsinan Laurentide ice sheet retreated about 100 km from Boston, Massachusetts, into southwestern Maine. Elevation data from even younger glaciomarine deltas in the coastal area indicate that soon after the ice margin reached southwestern Maine and adjacent New Hampshire (ca, 14,000 yr B.P.), eustatic sea level rose rapidly 7-10 m during the time that the ice margin retreated 5-10 km, which may have occurred during an interval of only 50-100 yr, Our new data not only confirm the delayed postglacial uplift model previously described for western New England, but also indicate that little or no eustatic sea-level change occurred during a substantial period of early deglaciation. However, at about 14,000 yr B.P., sea level rose rapidly. Postglacial uplift in the region apparently began between 14,000 and 13,300 yr B.P., before the retreating ice margin reached eastern Maine.

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Delayed Postglacial Uplift and Synglacial Sea Levels in Coastal Central New England
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Quaternary Research
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Quaternary Research
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