A recent suite of Relative Sea-Level (RSL) data for the past 12 ka BP has provided new insights into the sea-level histories of the western Mediterranean region. Our analysis of the chronostratigraphic context of sea-level indicators from Spain (Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and the Gulf of Valencia), France (Corsica Island) and Italy (Sardinia Island) has yielded 162 new sea-level index and limiting points. These data have considerably enhanced previous RSL compilations, in addition to improving the quality of spatio-temporal sea-level reconstructions and our capacity to estimate isostatic-related vertical motions in the western Mediterranean basin. The glacial and hydro-isostatic adjustment (GIA) pattern elucidated by the new database shows discrepancy with respect to those predicted by the available GIA models. In particular, the new results underscore a non-coherent isostatic response of the central portion of the western Mediterranean, with the Balearic Islands manifesting significant departures from the sea-level histories of Corsica, Sardinia and, more generally, along most of the western Mediterranean coast. Our results are a crucial contribution to defining both the pattern and the magnitude of the isostatic signal along the western Mediterranean coast. In fact, vertical isostatic motions represent a key to better assess any possible post-industrial acceleration in sea-level rise and to define future scenarios of coastal inundation in the context of global change.
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