Drill cores of Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands, reveal six stratigraphic intervals, numbered in downward sequence, which represent vertical coral growth during Quaternary interglaciations. Radiocarbon dates indicate that the Holocene sea transgressed the emergent reef platform by about 8000 yr B.P. The reef grew rapidly upward (about 5 to 10 mm/yr) until about 6500 yr B.P. Afterward vertical growth slowed to about 0.5 mm/yr, then lateral development became dominant during the last several thousand years. The second interval is dated at 131,000 ?? 3000 yr B.P. by uranium series. This unit correlates with oxygen-isotope substage 5e and with terrace VIIa of Huon Peninsula, New Guinea, and of Main Reef-2 terrace at Atauro Island. The third interval is not dated because corals were recrystallized and it is tentatively correlated with either oxygen-isotope stages 7 or 9. The age of the fourth interval is estimated at 454,000 ?? 100,000 yr B.P. from measured 234U 238U activity ratios. This unit is correlated with either oxygen-isotope stage 9, 11, or 13. ?? 1985.
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Ages of subsurface stratigraphic intervals in the Quaternary of Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands