Evidence for three North Sea tsunamis in the Shetland Isles between 8000 and 1500 years ago

S. Bondevik, J. Mangerud, S. Dawson, Alastair George Dawson, O. Lohne

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Abstract

Coastal fen- and lake deposits enclose sand layers that record at least three Holocene tsunamis at the Shetland Islands. The oldest is the well-known Storegga tsunami (ca 8 100 cal yr BP), which at the Shetlands invaded coastal lakes and ran up peaty hillsides where it deposited sand layers tip to 9.2 in above present high tide level. Because sea level at ca 8 100 cal yr BP was at least 10-15 in below present day sea level, the runup exceeded 20m. In two lakes, we also found deposits from a younger tsunami dated to ca 5500 cal yr BP. The sediment facies are similar to those of the Storegga tsunami-rip-up clasts, sand layers, re-deposited material and marine diatoms. Runup was probably more than 10 m. Yet another sand layer in peat outcrops dates to ca 1500 cal yr BP. This sand layer thins and fines inland and was found at two sites 40km apart and traced to ca 5-6m above present high tide. The oldest tsunami was generated by the Storegga slide on the Norwegian continental slope. We do not know what triggered the two younger events. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1757-1775
Number of pages18
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • STOREGGA TSUNAMI
  • WESTERN NORWAY
  • CONTINENTAL-MARGIN
  • BRITISH-ISLES
  • TRAENADJUPET SLIDE
  • FAROE-ISLANDS
  • C-14 AGE
  • DEPOSITS
  • DIATOMS
  • PEAT

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