Pleistocene Sea Levels

Evidence for previous sea levels at Bermuda

The most striking evidence for previous high sea levels at Bermuda is provided by the preservation of Pleistocene marine limestones at high elevations. A beach-type limestone found at two or three meters above the level of modern beaches is, for example, interpreted as evidence of a previous higher sea level. Any of the marine deposits or features described previously which develop in a restricted elevation range, relative to sea level, are potential sea level indicators.

Evidence of low sea levels is seen where features formed sub-aerially are now submerged. Examples of such features at Bermuda are: Aeolian dune foresets dipping into the sea, extensive networks of submerged caves with speleothems ( Calcium carbonate cave deposits such as stalactites and stalagmites), submerged geosols, and tree stumps submerged ten meters or more below the sea. Impressive sea cliffs and beach terraces have been described cut into the volcanic seamount below the edge of the Bermuda platform. Their considerable depth - 100 meters or more below sea level - is consistent with the known extent of sea level lowering during glacial episodes.