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Sedimentary evidence for a mid-Holocene iceberg-generated tsunami in a coastal lake, west Greenland.

Long, Antony J. and Szczuciński, Witold and Lawrence, Thomas (2015) 'Sedimentary evidence for a mid-Holocene iceberg-generated tsunami in a coastal lake, west Greenland.', Arktos., 1 (1). p. 6.


We report sedimentological evidence for a tsunami from a coastal lake at Innaarsuit, Disko Bugt (west Greenland), which was most likely generated by a rolling iceberg. The tsunami invaded the lake c. 6000 years ago, during a period of time when relative sea level (RSL) was falling quickly because of isostatic rebound. We use the background rate of RSL fall, together with an age model for the sediment sequence, to infer a minimum wave run-up during the event of c. 3.3 m. The stratigraphic signature of the event bears similarities to that described from studies of the early-Holocene Storegga slide tsunami in Norwegian coastal basins. Conditions conducive to iceberg tsunami include a supply of icebergs, deep water close to the shore, a depositional setting protected from storms or landslide tsunami, and a coastal configuration that has the potential to amplify the height of tsunami waves as water depths shallow and the waves approach and impact the coast. Future warming of polar regions will lead to increased calving and iceberg production, at a time when human use of polar coasts will also grow. We predict, therefore, that iceberg-generated tsunami will become a growing hazard in polar coastal waters, especially in areas adjacent to large, fast-flowing, marine-terminating ice streams that are close to human populations or infrastructure.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© The Author(s) 2015 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Date accepted:10 October 2015
Date deposited:11 March 2016
Date of first online publication:20 November 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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