A revised sea level history for the northern Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada




Fedje, Daryl
McLaren, Duncan
James, Thomas S.
Mackie, Quentin
Smith, Nicole F.
Southon, John R.
Mackie, Alexander P.

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Quarternary Science Reviews


A refined relative sea level (RSL) history spanning the past 14,300 calendar years is described for the Quadra Island area in the northern Strait of Georgia on the Pacific coast of Canada. Here marine shorelines dating to the time of earliest post-glacial emergence are at least 197 m above present-day sea-level at 14,300 years ago. RSL fell rapidly, reaching two to three metres above present-day by 12,000 years ago. A series of raised marine terraces at ca. 4, 10 and 30 m above present day high tide level suggest the rapid fall in RSL during early post-glacial time may have been briefly interrupted by factors such as regional ice advances and recessions and global meltwater pulses generated by climatic variations. A possible minor sea-level transgression of 1–2 m around 12,000 to 11,400 years ago was followed by slow regression to modern levels. This sea-level reconstruction is providing critical input for efficient discovery and cataloging of late Pleistocene and early Holocene archaeological sites on ancient raised shorelines in the region. Integration of the sea-level history with LiDAR imagery has proven successful in locating a number of archaeological sites on these ancient shorelines.




Fedju, D., McLaren, D., James, T.S., Mackie, Q., Smith, N.F., Southon, J.R. & Mackie, A.P. (2018). A revised sea level history for the northern Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada. Quarternary Science Reviews, 192, 300-316. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.05.018