The Black Sea level from the Last Glacial Maximum to the present time

pp. 3-19
Institute of Oceanology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 152, 9000 Varna, Bulgaria

Construction of the Black Sea level curve in the interval from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to the present is the main purpose of this article. This curve was created on the basis of seismostratigraphic analysis and data from other investigations. Existing seismostratigraphic subdivisions have been corrected. The seismic sections of the uppermost part of the Upper Pleistocene and the Holocene display two sequences (cycles). Highstand normal regressive, forced regressive, lowstand normal regressive, and transgressive genetic units within the older sequence have been distinguished, i.e., all system tracts. The lowstand normal regressive tract in the younger sequence was not recognized in the seismic sections. This fact evidences catastrophic inundation of the brackish Black Sea from the Mediterranean (Marmara) salt waters during the Early Holocene. Synchronization between sea-level changes and climatic variations is shown. The Black Sea level in relation to the World Ocean level, the Marmara Sea level, and the Caspian Sea level have been examined. For this end, the ways and time of formation of the recognized subunits in seismic sections from the Dardanelles Strait, Marmara and Aegean Seas were explained. Juxtaposition between the results of this study and solutions of other investigations and hypotheses concerning the Black Sea level changes is done as a discussion. The chemical aragonite intercalations in the base of the sapropel mud, the seismostratigraphic analysis, and 14C dating prove redepositions over vast areas of seabed. The constructed Black Sea level curve is consistent with all data of different nature (e.g., sedimentological, climatic, biostratigraphic, seismostratigraphic, and 14C dating).


Black Sea level, Late Pleistocene, Holocene, climate, reconstruction, sequence stratigraphy