EMODnet Geology data product update: Submerged Landscapes
EMODnet Geology have updated the Submerged Landscapes data product. This fully attributed GIS layer now comprises of more than 16,000 features representing 27 classes of submerged landscape and palaeoenvironmental indicators including mapped and modelled palaeocoastlines, evidence for submerged forests and peats, and submerged freshwater springs across all European seas. “This update has almost doubled the features and information compiled previously”, says Heather Stewart, coordinator of the EMODnet Geology team responsible for the work on submerged landscapes.
With this ambitious and growing product, EMODnet Geology hopes to serve new groups, projects and initiatives. These harmonised products will underpin regional palaeogeographic reconstructions at 20000, 9000, and 6000 years BP during the next development phase.
Sea level is known to have fluctuated by more than 100m over repeated glacial cycles, resulting in recurring exposure, inundation and migration of coastlines not only across Europe but worldwide. Landscape response to these changes in sea level, and the preservation of these features on continental shelves around Europe, are an invaluable resource for improving our understanding of human history and environmental change over geological time, while also providing data for potential use in examining future sea-level rise scenarios.
With preservation of these now submerged features under threat from commercial activities and natural erosion, bringing together existing knowledge through delivery of this work package is timely.