Relative water-level rise in the Flevo lagoon (The Netherlands), 5300-2000 cal. yr BC: an evaluation of new and existing basal peat time-depth data

B. Makaske, D.G. van Smeerdijk, H. Peeters, J.R. Mulder, T. Spek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, all available 14C dates from the base of basal peat overlying the top of compaction-free Pleistocene sand in the former Flevo lagoon were evaluated in order to reconstruct water-level rise for the period 5300-2000 cal. yr BC
The rise of Holocene (ground)water level as a function of relative sea-level rise has been extensively investigated in the western Netherlands, whereas few studies focused on the Flevo lagoon in the central Netherlands. In this study, all available C-14 dates from the base of basal peat overlying the top of compaction-free Pleistocene sand in the former Flevo lagoon were evaluated in order to reconstruct water-level rise for the period 5300-2000 cal. yr BC. The present basal peat C-14 data set from Flevoland consists of two subsets: (1) the largely new Almere data (41 dates) representing the southern part of the former Flevo lagoon, with 26 dates especially carried out for this study, and (2) the existing Schokland data (21 dates) representing the eastern part of the lagoon. The Schokland area is located about 50 km from the Almere area. The quality of all basal peat time-depth data was palaeo-ecologically and geologically evaluated, all C-14 dates were calibrated to the same standards, and error margins of age and altitude determination were estimated. After plotting the data as error boxes in time-depth graphs, lower limit curves for water-level rise were constructed for both data sets. Comparison with the mean sea-level curve for The Netherlands (Van de Plassche, 1982) suggests that water-level rise in the Almere area between 5300 and 2000 cal. yr BC corresponded closely to the rise in mean sea level. The same holds for the Schokland area for the period 5000-4200 cal. yr BC. For the period 4200-2000 cal. yr BC, however, the Schokland data suggest water-level rise to have been slower than mean sea-level rise, leading to local water levels apparently below mean sea level, which is virtually impossible. Hypothetical explanations for this discrepancy include: errors and uncertainties in mean sea-level and local water-level reconstruction, basin subsidence and temporal differences in intra-coastal tidal damping. The presently available data are inconclusive at this point and Holocene water-level rise in the Flevo lagoon awaits further investigations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-131
JournalGeologie en Mijnbouw
Volume82
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Keywords

  • groundwater level
  • subsidence
  • peat soils
  • radiocarbon dating
  • history
  • netherlands
  • sea level fluctuations
  • holocene
  • flevoland
  • peat grasslands
  • holocene evolution
  • reconstruction

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