Constraint of glacial isostatic adjustment in the North Sea with geological relative sea level and GNSS vertical land motion data

K. M. Simon*, R. E.M. Riva, L. L.A. Vermeersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

In this study, we focus on improved constraint of the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) signal at present-day, and its role as a contributor to present-day sea level budgets. The main study area extends from the coastal regions of northwestern Europe to northern Europe. Both Holocene relative sea level (RSL) data as well as vertical land motion (VLM) data are incorporated as constraints in a semi-empirical GIA model. 71 geological rates of GIA-driven RSL change are inferred from Holocene proxy data and 108 rates of vertical land motion from GNSS provide an additional measure of regional GIA deformation. Within the study area, the geological RSL data complement the spatial gaps of the VLM data and vice versa. Both data sets are inverted in a semi-empirical GIA model to yield updated estimates of regional present-day GIA deformations. A regional validation using tide gauges is presented for the North Sea, where the GIA signal may be complicated by lateral variations in Earth structure and existing predictions of regional and global GIA models show discrepancies. The model validation in the North Sea region suggests that geological data are needed to fit independent estimates of GIA-related RSL change inferred from tide gauge rates, indicating that geological rates from Holocene data do provide an important additional constraint for data-driven approaches to GIA estimation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1168-1180
Number of pages13
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Volume227
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Europe
  • loading of the Earth
  • satellite geodesy
  • sea level change

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