Holocene crustal movements and sea-level changes in Great Britain



Crustal downwarping has occurred throughout southern and south-eastern England and most of Wales for at least the last 4000 years, but the type of movement in some areas of southern and eastern England is more complicated than simple linear subsidence. Highest estimated rates of subsidence (since 4000 BP) are for the Thames Estuary and Norfolk (up to 2 mm/yr). Glacio-isostatic processes have resulted in uplift in northern England and mainland Scotland. The rates of uplift have decreased throughout the Holocene; estimates for the present range from zero in south Lancashire and the Tees Estuary to over 1 mm/yr (though less than 2 mm/yr) in central Scotland.

Over 400 sea-level index points, from the databank of 904 cases collected for IGCP Project 200, are grouped into 15 main areas and used to investigate the nature of crustal movements in Great Britain since 8800 BP, but there are significant deficiencies in available data which constrain the analysis.