PALEO-OCEANOGRAPHY OF THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA: SOME CONSEQUENCES OF THE WURM GLACIATION.
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CALIF
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The lowering of sea level and altered climatic conditions associated with the Wurm Glaciation are examined with a view toward determining their effect on the oceanography of the Mediterranean Sea. Assuming tectonic and other geological alterations to have been negligible, a eustatic sea-level lowering of 450 feet 136 meters is assumed, and the Wurm coastlines of the principal straits and seas are drawn from navigational charts. The effect of the lower sea level on the areas and volumes of the major channels and basins is determined. A quantitative evaluation of the Wurm water budget for the Mediterranean Sea is made, and on the basis of this determination, some general conclusions concerning water-mass characteristics and circulations are hypothesized. The water budget is found to have been in a more delicate state of balance during Wurm time than at present, whereas the quantity of water exchanged through the Strait of Gibraltar was not drastically altered. Methods of study such as this might prove useful in correlating and substantiating presently existing hypotheses in paleoclimatology, Quaternary geology, paleontology, and paleo-oceanography, Author