Coastal GIA processes revealed by the early to middle Holocene sea-level history of east China

Haixian Xiong, Yongqiang Zong, Tanghua Li, Tengwen Long, Guangqing Huang, Shuqing Fu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


In order to examine relative sea-level responses to the postglacial ice-volume change and the glacio-hydro isostatic adjustments (GIA), this study investigated the inner part of the Hangzhou Bay, east China, a tectonically relatively stable far-field location, and reconstructed the early to middle Holocene sea-level history. This investigation has established the elevational relationship between modern saltmarsh-mudflat and tidal levels based on diatom analysis for sea-level indicative meaning estimates, produced 17 high-quality sea-level index points, and simulated GIA processes for the study site. These results reveal that the relative sea level rose from −38.3 ± 1.6 m in c. 10,000 cal a BP to the present height by c. 7000 cal. a BP, and the average rate of sea-level rise decreased gradually from 19.6 ± 2.6 mm/a to 2.3 ± 1.5 mm/a during the 3000 years. This period of sea-level history was punctuated by two episodes of accelerated rise around 8200 and 7500 cal a BP. The relative sea level rose to 0.8 ± 1.4 m above msl by c. 6500 cal. a BP, followed by a gradual fall back to the present height at 4500 cal a BP, implying a different response to the potential additional ice melting between 7000 and 4000 cal a BP. A comparison of the sea-level histories between the inner and outer Hangzhou Bay indicates the coastal levering effect due to the marine inundation of the continental shelves. A further comparison between sea-level data from China and Malay Peninsula reveals different GIA effects between the Cathaysia-Yangtze Blocks and the Sundaland Block.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106249
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • China
  • Diatoms
  • GIA
  • Holocene
  • Sea-level changes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Geology


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