Abstract

The Paulatuk – Bathurst Inlet region experienced rapid deglaciation in response to marine incursion across isostatically depressed terrain during high relative sea level stands. Marine limits, frequently defined by ice-contact deltas, range from 10 m asl in the west to 228 m asl in the east and were formed from approximately 12.5 to 9 ka BP, respectively. Seven relative sea level curves demonstrate that the mainland coast has shown initial rapid emergence, then progressively less emergence, and finally submergence from Paulatuk to Bernard Harbour during the late Holocene. Regions to the east (Richardson Bay to Bathurst Inlet) continue to experience emergence. Sea level curves have shown persistently higher rebound from west to east. The pattern and magnitude of observed postglacial sea level changes are in accord with theoretical predictions. In areas outside the glacial limit, as well as close to but within the glacial limit, relative sea level initially falls during the early and middle Holocene, and then begins to rise due to the migration of the forebulge in late Holocene times. Submergence becomes progressively younger from west to east. Closer to the centre of ice loading, emergence has progressed since deglaciation.

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