Departmental Papers (EES)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

April 2006


This paper provides a brief overview of the transfer function approach to sea-level reconstruction. Using the example of two overlapping sediment cores from the North Norfolk coast, UK, the advantages and limitations of the transfer function methodology are examined. While the selected cores are taken from different sites, and display contrasting patterns of sedimentation, the foraminiferal transfer function distils comparable records of relative sea-level change from both sequences. These reconstructions are consistent with existing sea-level index points from the region but produce a more detailed record of relative sea-level change. Transfer functions can extract sea-level information from a wider range of sedimentary sub-environments. This increases the amount of data that can be collected from coastal deposits and improves record resolution. The replicability of the transfer function methodology, coupled with the sequential nature of the data it produces, assists in the compilation and analysis of sea-level records from different sites. This technique has the potential to bridge the gap between short-term (instrumental) and long-term (geological or geophysical) records of sea-level change.


Postprint version. Published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Volume 364, Number 1841, April 15, 2006, pages 973 - 991.
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sea-level change, transfer function, foraminifera, Holocene



Date Posted: 01 June 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.