Damien ARHAN, Sorbonne-Université, France
Kosmas PAVLOPOULOS, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Eric FOUACHE, Sorbonne-Université, France
Since the Last Glacial Maximum (26 500 – 19 000 BP, Clark et al. 2009) and during the Holocene, the Arabian (Persian) Gulf experimented significant sea-level variations driven by both eustatic and relative components. Because of its low-lying coastal morphology, the emirate of Abu Dhabi was strongly exposed to these fluctuations, inducing coastline mobility and landscape changes (Lambeck 1996). Studying these environmental evolutions appears critical to understand human occupation and settlement dynamics, at both large and small scale, and to put into perspective the regional archaeological map.
To reconstruct regional sea-level variations, fieldworks were carried out in the Al Dhafra area (western part of the emirate of Abu Dhabi). Data consists of studied sea-level indicators such as beachrocks and core-drilling in targeted areas. Radiocarbon dating was performed to set an absolute chronology.
Results were added in a database gathering data from previous published work in the region, using dated geomorphological and archaeological sea-level indicators. Data consistency has been addressed by recalculating elevations according to the same vertical datum and radiocarbon dating have been recalibrated using OxCal 4.4 online program (Bronk Ramsey, 2009). The database was eventually used to build 2D-diagram and local relative sea-level curves. Results show various trends in vertical displacement with uplifting and subsidence dynamics in the studied area, which could imply several factors (glacio-hydro-isostasy, large-scale geotectonic or diapirism).
Keywords: Sea-level changes|Arabian Gulf|Holocene|Abu Dhabi|Coastal geaoarchaeology