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Multi-Proxy Characterisation of the Storegga Tsunami and Its Impact on the Early Holocene Landscapes of the Southern North Sea

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School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences, University of Bradford, Bradford BD7 1DP, UK
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Faculty of Humanities and Performing Arts, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales SA48 7ED, UK
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School of Life Sciences, Gibbet Hill Campus, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
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School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of St Andrews, St Andrews KY16 9AL, UK
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Department of Archaeology, University College Cork, T12 CY82 Cork, Ireland
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Department of Earth Sciences, Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK
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Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth SY23 3FL, UK
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Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, USA
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Department of Geography, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, 51003 Tartu, Estonia
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SUERC Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory, Scottish Enterprise Park, East Kilbride G75 0QF, UK
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School of Sciences, Bath Spa University, Bath BA2 9BN, UK
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Chemostrat Ltd., 1 Ravenscroft Court, Buttington Cross Enterprise Park, Welshpool, Powys SY21 8SL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2020, 10(7), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10070270
Received: 12 June 2020 / Revised: 29 June 2020 / Accepted: 11 July 2020 / Published: 15 July 2020
Doggerland was a landmass occupying an area currently covered by the North Sea until marine inundation took place during the mid-Holocene, ultimately separating the British landmass from the rest of Europe. The Storegga Event, which triggered a tsunami reflected in sediment deposits in the northern North Sea, northeast coastlines of the British Isles and across the North Atlantic, was a major event during this transgressive phase. The spatial extent of the Storegga tsunami however remains unconfirmed as, to date, no direct evidence for the event has been recovered from the southern North Sea. We present evidence of a tsunami deposit in the southern North Sea at the head of a palaeo-river system that has been identified using seismic survey. The evidence, based on lithostratigraphy, geochemical signatures, macro and microfossils and sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA), supported by optical stimulated luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon dating, suggests that these deposits were a result of the tsunami. Seismic identification of this stratum and analysis of adjacent cores showed diminished traces of the tsunami which was largely removed by subsequent erosional processes. Our results confirm previous modelling of the impact of the tsunami within this area of the southern North Sea, and also indicate that these effects were temporary, localized, and mitigated by the dense woodland and topography of the area. We conclude that clear physical remnants of the wave in these areas are likely to be restricted to now buried, palaeo-inland basins and incised river valley systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: seismic; tsunami; Doggerland; palaeoenvironment; palaeolandscape; sedimentary ancient DNA; geochemistry; geomorphology; Mesolithic; Storegga; North Sea seismic; tsunami; Doggerland; palaeoenvironment; palaeolandscape; sedimentary ancient DNA; geochemistry; geomorphology; Mesolithic; Storegga; North Sea
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gaffney, V.; Fitch, S.; Bates, M.; Ware, R.L.; Kinnaird, T.; Gearey, B.; Hill, T.; Telford, R.; Batt, C.; Stern, B.; Whittaker, J.; Davies, S.; Sharada, M.B.; Everett, R.; Cribdon, R.; Kistler, L.; Harris, S.; Kearney, K.; Walker, J.; Muru, M.; Hamilton, D.; Law, M.; Finlay, A.; Bates, R.; Allaby, R.G. Multi-Proxy Characterisation of the Storegga Tsunami and Its Impact on the Early Holocene Landscapes of the Southern North Sea. Geosciences 2020, 10, 270. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10070270

AMA Style

Gaffney V, Fitch S, Bates M, Ware RL, Kinnaird T, Gearey B, Hill T, Telford R, Batt C, Stern B, Whittaker J, Davies S, Sharada MB, Everett R, Cribdon R, Kistler L, Harris S, Kearney K, Walker J, Muru M, Hamilton D, Law M, Finlay A, Bates R, Allaby RG. Multi-Proxy Characterisation of the Storegga Tsunami and Its Impact on the Early Holocene Landscapes of the Southern North Sea. Geosciences. 2020; 10(7):270. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10070270

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gaffney, Vincent; Fitch, Simon; Bates, Martin; Ware, Roselyn L.; Kinnaird, Tim; Gearey, Benjamin; Hill, Tom; Telford, Richard; Batt, Cathy; Stern, Ben; Whittaker, John; Davies, Sarah; Sharada, Mohammed B.; Everett, Rosie; Cribdon, Rebecca; Kistler, Logan; Harris, Sam; Kearney, Kevin; Walker, James; Muru, Merle; Hamilton, Derek; Law, Matthew; Finlay, Alex; Bates, Richard; Allaby, Robin G. 2020. "Multi-Proxy Characterisation of the Storegga Tsunami and Its Impact on the Early Holocene Landscapes of the Southern North Sea" Geosciences 10, no. 7: 270. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10070270

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