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Quaternary climates and sea levels of the U.S. atlantic coastal plain

Science

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Abstract

Uranium-series dating of corals from marine deposits of the U.S. Atlantic Coastal Plain coupled with paleodimatic reconstructions based on ostracode (marine) and pollen (continent) data document at least five relatively warm intervals during the last 500,000 years. On the basis of multiple paleoenvironmental criteria, we determined relative sea level positions during the warm intervals, relative to present mean sea level, were 7 ?? 5 meters at 188,000 years ago, 7.5 ??1.5 meters at 120,000 years ago, 6.5 ?? 3.5 meters at 94,000 years ago, and 7 ?? 3 meters at 72,000 years ago. The composite sea level chronology for the Atlantic Coastal Plain is inconsistent with independent estimates of eustatic sea level positions during interglacial intervals of the last 200,000 years. Hydroisostatic adjustment from glacial-interglacial sea level fluctuations, lithospheric flexure, and isostatic uplift from sediment unloading due to erosion provide possible mechanisms to account for the discrepancies. Alternatively, current eustatic sea level estimates for the middle and late Quaternary may require revision.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Quaternary climates and sea levels of the U.S. atlantic coastal plain
Series title:
Science
Volume
211
Issue:
4479
Year Published:
1981
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Science
First page:
233
Last page:
240
Number of Pages:
8