The Post-glacial Flooding of the Persian Gulf,
animation and images


At the time of the last glacial maximum, about 18,000 years ago, global sea level was about 130 meters lower than it is at present. Between 18,000 and about 6000 years ago, most of the ice melted off of Canada and Scandinavia, causing sea level to rise, flooding the rims of all the dry lands.

At the glacial maximum, the coastline lay near the edge of the continental shelf of the Indian Ocean. The Persian Gulf was a dry-land river valley. As sea level rose during the glacial meltdown, the ocean gradually flooded into the Gulf. By the time sea level stabilized, about 6000 years ago, the north end of the Gulf lay well to the north of its present position. The ancient walled city of Ur lay near that ancient shoreline. Since that time, debris from the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers has built a substantial delta, creating most of the land in Kuwait and establishing the present coastlines.

To view this movie, click on the images.


Download: Flooding of the Persian Gulf, Movie and Images (23 MB).



This animation is based on the maps presented by Kennett and Kennett, 2007. The animation was created by Tanya Atwater, using Photoshop and Morph.


Comments on this and all of the materials offered on this site are welcomed: atwater@geol.ucsb.edu