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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 16 Apr 2020

Submitted as: research article | 16 Apr 2020

Review status
A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ESurf.

Holocene sea-level change on the west coast Bohai Bay, China

Fu Wang1,2, Yongqiang Zong3, Barbara Mauz4,5, Jianfen Li1,2, Jing Fang6, Lizhu Tian1,2, Yongsheng Chen1,2, Zhiwen Shang1,2, Xingyu Jiang1,2, Giorgio Spada7, and Daniele Melini8 Fu Wang et al.
  • 1Tianjin Center of Geological Survey, China Geological Survey (CGS), Tianjin, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Coast Geo-Environment, China Geological Survey, CGS, Tianjin, China
  • 3Department of Earth Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
  • 4School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  • 5Department of Geography and Geology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
  • 6College of Urban and Environmental Science, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin, China
  • 7Department of Science, University of Urbino, Urbino, Italy
  • 8Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Roma, Italy

Abstract. To constrain models on global sea-level change regional proxy data on coastal change are indispensable. Here, we reconstruct the Holocene sea-level history of the northernmost East China Sea shelf. This region is of great interest owing to its apparent far-field position during the late Quaternary, its broad shelf and its enormous sediment load supplied by the Yellow River. This study collected 15 sediment cores from the coastal plain of west Bohai Bay and extracted 25 sea-level index points through the analyses of sedimentary facies, foraminiferal assemblages and radiocarbon dating. These proxy data indicate a phase of rapid rise from c. −17 m to −4 m of mean sea level between c. 10 ka and 6.5 ka. This was followed by a phase of slow rise from 6.5 ka to 2 ka. In contrast to previous studies our data suggest that the sea level remained c. 2.5–1 m below the modern mean sea level during the mid-late Holocene. The difference between proxy data and sea-level predictions based on three GIA models suggests that the Bohai coastal plain experiences subsidence at a rate of around 1.25 mm/a since about 7 ka which masks the mid-Holocene highstand recorded elsewhere in the region. Thus, during the early Holocene rapid rise the sea flooded the coastal plain and the shoreline retreated landwards at a rate of c. 40 m/a. It stayed at the landward maximum marine limit during the mid Holocene when the sea-level rise slowed down allowing vertical sedimentary accretion to occur in the landward areas. During the late Holocene fluvial sediment supply outpaced the sea-level change and the shoreline prograded seawards at a rate between 20 and 10 m/a.

Fu Wang et al.

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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Fu Wang et al.

Fu Wang et al.


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Latest update: 01 Jul 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Our new Holocene sea level curve are not only different to previously published data, but also different to global GIA models. We see that as soon as ice melting has ceased, local processes control shoreline migration and coast evolution. This indicates that more emphasis should be placed on regional coast and sea-level change modelling under a global sea-level rising future as the local government need more specific and effective advice to deal with coastal flooding.
Our new Holocene sea level curve are not only different to previously published data, but also...