COI Funded Project: Sea-Level Changes in the Black Sea: Effects on Coastal and Shelf Architecture


Project Funded: 2006

The acceleration of sea level rise under human influence, including possible catastrophic events linked to future ice sheet destabilization, requires a better understanding of the response of coasts and shelves to such situations. It has been hypothesized that sea level variations in the Black Sea were particularly abrupt in the past (order of cm/year) or even catastrophic such as during the proposed reconnection to the World Ocean (the so-called “Noah’s Flood”, when the sea level rise may have surpassed 50 cm/year). Therefore, I propose to study the sedimentary deposits in the Black Sea that could provide excellent analogues for large scale morphological behavior under a variety of rapid sea level change rates.


The proposed project will explore implications on our understanding of extreme environmental changes that occurred at the transitions between an open to closed basin in the Black Sea (e.g., in salinity, in the oxygenation of the water column, reorganization of the basin ecosystem) and will be directly relevant for the study of ties between human prehistory and archeology of the region and paleoenvironmental change.