We present estimates for late Holocene relative sea level change along the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy based on morphological characteristics of eight submerged Roman fish tanks (piscinae) constructed between the 1st century B.C. and the 2nd century A.D. Underwater geomorphological features and archaeological remains related to past sea level have been measured and corrected using recorded tidal values. We conclude that local sea level during the Roman period did not exceed 58 ± 5 cm below the present sea level. These results broadly agree with previous observations in the region but contrast with recent analysis that suggests a significantly larger sea level rise during the last 2000 years. Using a glacial isostatic adjustment model, we explain how regional sea level change departs from the eustatic component. Our calculation of relative sea level during the Roman period provides a reference for isolating the long-wavelength contribution to sea level change from secular sea level rise. Precise determination of sea level rise in the study area improves our understanding of secular, instrumentally observed, variations across the Mediterranean. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

LATE HOLOCENE SEA LEVEL RECONSTRUCTIONS BASED ON OBSERVATIONS OF ROMAN FISH TANKS, TYRRHENIAN COAST OF ITALY

TOMASIN, Alberto
2012

Abstract

We present estimates for late Holocene relative sea level change along the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy based on morphological characteristics of eight submerged Roman fish tanks (piscinae) constructed between the 1st century B.C. and the 2nd century A.D. Underwater geomorphological features and archaeological remains related to past sea level have been measured and corrected using recorded tidal values. We conclude that local sea level during the Roman period did not exceed 58 ± 5 cm below the present sea level. These results broadly agree with previous observations in the region but contrast with recent analysis that suggests a significantly larger sea level rise during the last 2000 years. Using a glacial isostatic adjustment model, we explain how regional sea level change departs from the eustatic component. Our calculation of relative sea level during the Roman period provides a reference for isolating the long-wavelength contribution to sea level change from secular sea level rise. Precise determination of sea level rise in the study area improves our understanding of secular, instrumentally observed, variations across the Mediterranean. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/33531
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