Sensitivity of palaeotidal models of the northwest European shelf seas to glacial isostatic adjustment since the Last Glacial Maximum
Quaternary Science Reviews
Open Access funded by Natural Environment Research Council. Under a Creative Commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
The spatial and temporal distribution of relative sea-level change over the northwest European shelf seas has varied considerably since the Last Glacial Maximum, due to eustatic sea-level rise and a complex isostatic response to deglaciation of both near- and far-field ice sheets. Because of the complex pattern of relative sea level changes, the region is an ideal focus for modelling the impact of significant sea-level change on shelf sea tidal dynamics. Changes in tidal dynamics influence tidal range, the location of tidal mixing fronts, dissipation of tidal energy, shelf sea biogeochemistry and sediment transport pathways. Significant advancements in glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) modelling of the region have been made in recent years, and earlier palaeotidal models of the northwest European shelf seas were developed using output from less well-constrained GIA models as input to generate palaeobathymetric grids. We use the most up-to-date and well-constrained GIA model for the region as palaeotopographic input for a new high resolution, three-dimensional tidal model (ROMS) of the northwest European shelf seas. With focus on model output for 1 ka time slices from the Last Glacial Maximum (taken as being 21 ka BP) to present day, we demonstrate that spatial and temporal changes in simulated tidal dynamics are very sensitive to relative sea-level distribution. The new high resolution palaeotidal model is considered a significant improvement on previous depth-averaged palaeotidal models, in particular where the outputs are to be used in sediment transport studies, where consideration of the near-bed stress is critical, and for constraining sea level index points.
Funding was provided by the Natural Environment Research Council through grant NE/I527853/1 (Ph.D. studentship to SLW). The author acknowledges modelling support from Patrick Timko and Reza Hashemi. The model simulations were undertaken on High Performance Computing (HPC) Wales, a collaboration between Welsh universities, the Welsh Government and Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe. The authors also thank one anonymous reviewer and Dayton Dove for their thoughtful comments, and thorough and constructive reviews.
This is the final version of the article. Available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 151, pp. 198 - 211