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Quaternary Earth Systems

Sea level fluctuations and isostatic movements

During the Quaternary, Scandinavia has been affected by large and rapid sea level variations. These changes were caused by the growth and decay of large continental ice-sheets during the Quaternary, and are a combined effect of global changes in ocean volume (eustasy) and local movements of the crust (isostasy).

Detailed knowledge of the sea level history is crucial for accurate predictions of future changes. Our field-based research is concentrated in the fjord and coastal areas in western Norway. The goal is to reconstruct former sea level changes since the ice sheet retreated from the outer coast about 15,000 years ago, by coring and analyzing sediments in lake basins that have been isolated from the sea at different times.