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

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Document pages: 41 pages

Abstract: At about3000 C14-year BP or 1200 cal. yrs BC, the Baltic Sea experienced a mega-tsunamiwith a wave-height of 10 m or more, and a run-up height of up to 16.5 m. Thisevent had significant geological and archaeological effects. We explore therecords from the Lake M?laren area in Sweden. The tsunami event is linked toseismic ground shaking and methane venting tectonics at several sites. Thetriggering factor is proposed to be the Kaali meteor impact in Estonia of thesame age. The documentation of a mega-tsunami in the middle of the Bronze Agehas wide implications both in geology and in archaeology. The archaeologicalkey sites at Annelund and Apalle are reinterpreted in terms of tsunami waveactions remodelling stratigraphy. By extensive coring, we are able to trace thetsunami effects in both off-shore and on-shore environment. At the time of theevent, sea level was at +15 m (due to isostatic uplift). The tsunami waveerosion is traced 13.5 m below sea level. The tsunami run-up over land istraced to +29.5 m to +31.5 m (occasionally even higher), implying a run-up of14.5 - 16.5 m. In ?ngermanland, thetsunami event was absolutely dated at 1171 varve years BC. Archaeologically, the tsunami event coincideswell with the transition between Periods II and III of the South ScandinavianBronze Age. Period III has traditionally been difficult to identify in thecultural materials of the Lake M?laren region.

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