Sea-level change in the Mediterranean Sea since the LGM: model predictions for tectonically stable areas
Sea-level change in the Mediterranean Sea during glacial cycles is determined by the temporally variable eustatic change and by the spatially variable glacio-hydro-isostatic response of the earth and ocean to the growth and decay of ice sheets. Superimposed upon this are the relative changes from any vertical tectonic movement of the land. For sites that are either tectonically stable or where the magnitude of tectonic uplift is known, comparisons of observed change with predictions of the glacio-hydro-eustatic signals provide constraints on the earth-ice parameters used. The resulting predictive models can then be used to interpolate sea-level change and shoreline migration between the spatially and temporally limited observational data set. Whether such parameters reflect the true properties of the mantle and ice sheets depends on whether an effective separation has been achieved from the inversion of the observational data set. This paper explores this issue and demonstrates that observations from certain regions in the Mediterranean are particularly important in effecting the separation. This is supported by a trial analysis of a small observation data set from sites that exhibit some of the desirable features of an ideal data set. Basin-wide predictions of sea-level change, palaeo-water depth and shoreline locations based on these analyses are presented for selected epochs.