Coupling instrumental and geological records of sea-level change : evidence from southern New England of an increase in the rate of sea-level rise in the late 19th century
Donnelly, Jeffrey P.
Newby, Paige E.
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We construct a high-resolution relative sea-level record for the past 700 years by dating basal salt-marsh peat samples above a glacial erratic in an eastern Connecticut salt marsh, to test whether or not the apparent recent acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise (SLR) is coeval with climate warming. The data reveal an average SLR rate of 1.0 ± 0.2 mm/year from about 1300 to 1850 A.D. Coupling of the regional tide-gauge data (1856 to present) with this marsh-based record indicates that the nearly three-fold increase in the regional rate of SLR to modern levels likely occurred in the later half of the 19th century. Thus the timing of the observed SLR rate increase is coincident with the onset of climate warming, indicating a possible link between historic SLR increases and recent temperature increases.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2004. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 31 (2004): L05203, doi:10.1029/2003GL018933.
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