A Mega-Tsunami in the Baltic Sea 1171 BC: Geological Records with Special Reference to the Lake Mälaren Area in Sweden

Authors: Nils-Axel Mörner, Björn Ambrosiani, Phyllis Anderson Ambrosiani

At about 3000 C14-year BP or 1200 cal. yrs BC, the Baltic Sea experienced a mega-tsunami with a wave-height of 10 m or more, and a run-up height of up to 16.5 m. This event had significant geological and archaeological effects. We explore the records from the Lake M?laren area in Sweden. The tsunami event is linked to seismic ground shaking and methane venting tectonics at several sites. The triggering factor is proposed to be the Kaali meteor impact in Estonia of the same age. The documentation of a mega-tsunami in the middle of the Bronze Age has wide implications both in geology and in archaeology. The archaeological key sites at Annelund and Apalle are reinterpreted in terms of tsunami wave actions remodelling stratigraphy. By extensive coring, we are able to trace the tsunami effects in both off-shore and on-shore environment. At the time of the event, sea level was at +15 m (due to isostatic uplift). The tsunami wave erosion is traced 13.5 m below sea level. The tsunami run-up over land is traced to +29.5 m to +31.5 m (occasionally even higher), implying a run-up of 14.5 – 16.5 m. In Ångermanland, the tsunami event was absolutely dated at 1171 varve years BC. Archaeologically, the tsunami event coincides well with the transition between Periods II and III of the South Scandinavian Bronze Age. Period III has traditionally been difficult to identify in the cultural materials of the Lake M?laren region.


Journal: International Journal of Geosciences
DOI: 10.4236/ijg.2020.1110034(PDF)
Paper Id: 103896 (metadata)

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