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A relative sea-level history for Arviat, Nunavut, and implications for Laurentide Ice Sheet thickness west of Hudson Bay

  • Karen M. Simon (a1) (a2), Thomas S. James (a1) (a2), Donald L. Forbes (a3) (a4), Alice M. Telka (a5), Arthur S. Dyke (a6) and Joseph A. Henton (a7)...

Thirty-six new and previously published radiocarbon dates constrain the relative sea-level history of Arviat on the west coast of Hudson Bay. As a result of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) following deglaciation, sea level fell rapidly from a high-stand of nearly 170 m elevation just after 8000 cal yr BP to 60 m elevation by the mid Holocene (~ 5200 cal yr BP). The rate of sea-level fall decreased in the mid and late Holocene, with sea level falling 30 m since 3000 cal yr BP. Several late Holocene sea-level measurements are interpreted to originate from the upper end of the tidal range and place tight constraints on sea level. A preliminary measurement of present-day vertical land motion obtained by repeat Global Positioning System (GPS) occupations indicates ongoing crustal uplift at Arviat of 9.3 ± 1.5 mm/yr, in close agreement with the crustal uplift rate inferred from the inferred sea-level curve. Predictions of numerical GIA models indicate that the new sea-level curve is best fit by a Laurentide Ice Sheet reconstruction with a last glacial maximum peak thickness of ~ 3.4 km. This is a 30–35% thickness reduction of the ICE-5G ice-sheet history west of Hudson Bay.

Corresponding author
* Corresponding author at: School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada. E-mail address: (K.M. Simon).
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