Timing of the last Mediterranean Sea Black Sea connection from isostatic models and regional sea-level data

Kurt Lambeck, Dorit Sivan, Anthony Purcell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Water levels in the Mediterranean and Black Seas since the Last Glacial Maximum have varied substantially across the region because of the influence of the melting of the last great ice sheets in redistributing ice and water over the Earth's surface. This spatial variability is significant for discussions of the timing of water exchange between the Aegean and Black Sea, which reached ca.-10 m relative to present sea level at 12 ky calBP. In the absence of direct observational evidence, sea-level change at sill locations is predicted here using isostatic models that have been calibrated against observational data from other Mediterranean localities. If one assumes a depth of ∼-32 m for the Bosphorus sill, the Black Sea is predicted to have been reached by rising Mediterranean water between about 10.3 and 9.5 ky calBP. Alternatively, if the Bosphorus bedrock gorge at ∼-100 m depth is adopted as the sill, then the first Mediterranean influx over the shallower Dardanelles sill at ∼-80 m is predicted to have occurred between 15 and 13.7 ky calBP.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Black Sea Flood Question
Subtitle of host publicationChanges in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)1402047746, 9781402047749
StatePublished - 2007


  • Black Sea
  • Marmara Sea
  • glacio-hydroisostasy
  • sea-level prediction
  • sill height

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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