The case for dynamic subsidence of the U.S. east coast since the Eocene

Sonja Spasojević, Lijun Liu, Michael Gurnis, R. Dietmar Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dynamic subsidence of the United States east coast is addressed using the discrepancy between regional and global estimates of sea level, elevation of paleoshorelines, and adjoint models of mantle convection that assimilate plate motions and seismic tomography. The positions of Eocene and Miocene paleoshorelines are lower than predicted by global sea levels, suggesting at least 50 m, and possibly as much as 200 m of subsidence since the end of the Eocene. Dynamic models predict subsidence of the east coast since the end of Eocene, although the exact magnitude is uncertain. This subsidence has been occurring during an overall global sea-level fall, with the eustatic change being larger than the dynamic subsidence; this results in a regional sea-level fall in the absence of land subsidence. Dynamic subsidence is consistent with the difference between eustasy and regional sea level at the New Jersey coastal plain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL08305
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 28 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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