INQUA Commission: Coastal and Marine Processes

Session Title: Arctic landscape evolution and long-term coastal change (Poster only)

Convenors and Co-Convenors: Lasse Sander (Convenor), Michael Fritz (Co-Convenor), Aart Kroon (Co-Convenor)

Description of Session: This session invites contributions dealing with long-term changes in coastal environments in the Arctic and the relevant processes that govern late Quaternary and Holocene landscape evolution. Coasts in the polar regions are at present rapidly changing under the influence of a pronounced climate warming trend. This induces erosion due to the retreat of sea ice, the increase of wave forcing along coasts and a general susceptibility of thawing permafrost shorelines. Long-term rates of carbon and nutrient release, patterns of dynamic coastal geomorphological change, studies of sedimentary archives of past environments such as beach ridges or coastal lakes, and investigations into past sea-level change are topics that help to understand the functioning and response of modern Arctic coasts to climate change. The coastal environment is here considered in a wide definition of landscapes located at the land-sea transition, including terrestrial and shelf sea environments that have e.g. an archival function or influence on coastal processes. Thematically, this session is placed between Quaternary geology and Holocene (coastal) geomorphology and aims at contributions looking into sedimentary archives, climate forcing, coastal erosion, or the release of organic matter and sediment over decadal to millennial time scales. Contributions by early-career researchers are highly encouraged as well as interdisciplinary studies looking into the biological responses to coastal change and biogeochemical cycling.


INQUA Commission: Coastal and Marine Processes

Session Title: Back to the future: submerged shorelines on the shelf as tools for climate, sea-level and future shoreline reconstructions.

Convenors and Co-convenors: Andrew Green (Convenor), Ruth Plets (Co-Convenor), Joseph Kelley (Co-Convenor)

Description of Session: Given the context of changing climates and the increasing threat to coastal areas from increasing rates of sea-level rise, it has become increasingly important to understand the manner in which coastal systems and their shorelines may respond to future sea level rises. Palaeo-shorelines preserved on the continental shelf provide an important source of information. Having escaped the erosion typically associated with wave ravinement across the formerly exposed palaeo-coastal plain, preserved shoreline features are amongst the few systems, apart from incised valley fills, that document the complex interplay between climate and local oceanographic regime, landform formation, preservation and sea-level fluctuation during deglacial cycles.

The identification of submerged shoreline features has been much enhanced with new and higher resolution swath bathymetry techniques, together with more detailed and focused programmes which have routinely examined submerged shorelines over the last ten years. When coupled with high and ultra high-resolution seismic profiling, complete three-dimensional impressions of shorelines can be constructed and inspections of the palaeo-shoreline morphology, weathering profile and stratigraphy made. Lastly, when novel sampling and dating techniques are applied, a robust, non-coral based record of sea-level fluctuation may be extracted from these landforms.

We propose a session that examines the state of the art regarding palaeo-shorelines from around the globe. We hope to draw papers that will place how shoreline preservation potential and morphology fits into the context of climatic and sea-level controls, and how relict examples can be extended to further understand the intricacies of global deglacial sea-level records and submerged landscapes.