Joseph T. Kelley, Daniel F. Belknap, Stefan Claesson; Drowned coastal deposits with associated archaeological remains from a sea-level “slowstand”: Northwestern Gulf of Maine, USA. Geology 2010; 38 (8): 695-698. doi: 10.1130/G31002.1
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Drowned terrestrial wetland environments, such as lakes, marshes, and beaches, were thought to be rare in formerly glaciated regions like the Gulf of Maine (United States). In the northwestern Gulf of Maine, postglacial relative sea-level changes include a “slowstand” between 11.5 ka and 7.5 ka, when the ocean rose <5 m. This period of sea-level stability permitted erosion of glacial materials and concomitant construction of spits and sheltered wetland habitats, attractive to human occupation, between 17 m and 22 m below modern sea level. This work underscores the importance of a well-constructed sea-level chronology to predict the location of drowned terrestrial environments and associated cultural resources.