Relative sea-level changes and glacio-isostatic adjustment on the Magdalen Islands archipelago (Atlantic Canada) from MIS 5 to the late Holocene

Audrey M. Rémillard, Guillaume St-Onge, Pascal Bernatchez, Bernard Hétu, Jan-Pieter Buylaert, Andrew S. Murray, Patrick Lajeunesse

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    Abstract

    The Magdalen Islands (Québec, Canada) in the centre of the Gulf of St. Lawrence are located in a strategic position for providing an overview of the relative sea-level (RSL) history of the Maritime Provinces of eastern Canada. Although data are available for the coastal terrestrial areas of the Maritimes, data from the Gulf are very scarce and both the RSL and glacio-isostatic adjustment (GIA) models extrapolate for this central region. This study provides new stratigraphic and chronological data from four outcrops and two coring sites on the Magdalen Islands. In addition to the five samples used mainly for age control purposes, nine new luminescence ages are presented. With these new data added to the available literature, a new RSL curve is reconstructed for the LGM to the late Holocene period and a partial curve is proposed for the interval between the late MIS 4 to the MIS 3. Data also indicate a few insights for the MIS 5 period. Results reveal that for the LGM to the late Holocene, the curve corresponds to the J-shaped curve scenario recognized in the literature. The RSL changes during this period are the result of glacio-isostatic rebound, migration and collapse of the peripheral forebulge, and eustatic sea-level changes. For the LGM to the early Holocene, glacio-isostatic depression curves displaying a few local differences are also proposed. For the late Holocene, the data constrain the curve between two types of indicators, i.e. marine and terrestrial, and indicate that the RSL has risen at least 3 m during the last two millennia. Sediments dated to the MIS 5 and the interval between the late MIS 4 and the MIS 3 illustrate that the GIA following the LGM also occurred for the MIS 5 interglacial and the MIS 3 interstadial. Finally, recent GIA models are discussed in light of the results of this paper.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
    Volume171
    Pages (from-to)216-233
    Number of pages18
    ISSN0277-3791
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • Glaciation
    • Sea-level changes
    • Glacio-isostatic adjustment
    • Atlantic Canada
    • Luminescence dating
    • Sedimentology
    • MIS 5
    • MIS 3
    • Last Glacial Maximum
    • Holocene

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