Mid-Holocene emergence of southern Tunisian coasts

Christophe Morhange, Paolo Antonio Pirazzoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present new sea-level data from the coasts of southern Tunisia, between the Gulf of Gabès and the Libyan border. The work tests, previously, published evidence on Holocene shorelines, and confirmed that a distinct emergence has occurred in this area during this time. The emergence peak lies at least 186 ± 11 cm above present and is inferred from: (1) AMS radiocarbon dates of subtidal vermetids and boring shells collected in growth position, and (2) careful assessment of tidal heights. Maximum emergence took place between about 6000 and 5000 14C years BP; it cannot be ascribed to tectonics and is probably related to post-glacial hydro-isostatic effects. It challenges the inference of a 3-m global sea-level rise since 6000 years BP due to residual Antarctic melting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-213
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Geology
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors kindly thank the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Eclipse Program) for financial assistance. We thank Bernard Simon (Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine) for having provided detailed tide predictions in the Jerba Island area, J. Laborel and an anonymous reviewer for very useful suggestions and N. Marriner for revision of the English text.


  • Bioconstructions
  • Eustasy
  • Holocene
  • Isostasy
  • Sea-level change
  • Tunisia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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