Holocene transgressive deposits are frequently exposed near the present-day coastline of the study area along eastern North Island, New Zealand. They occur in sites of former estuaries that were filled during the postglacial rise in sea level. We present one hundred radiocarbon dates of Holocene transgressive deposits from the study area, ranging in age from ca. 10,000 to 5500 yr B.P. Relative sea level curves up to ca. 6000 yr B.P. were reconstructed for six locations. The curves have similar slopes prior to about 7000 yr B.P., indicating that sea level rise was much more rapid than any tectonic uplift at that time. The postglacial rise in sea level in New Zealand is considered, in general, to have culminated at about 6500 yr B.P. but the upper limit ages of transgressive deposits in our study area vary from ca. 5500 to 7000 yr B.P. At sites where the uplift rate is high the postglacial transgression culminated rather earlier than ca. 6500 yr B.P., and at sites where there is subsidence or there is very low uplift the culmination is later than ca. 6500 yr B.P. Nine of fourteen dates from fossil trees in growth position, that grew in and were buried by estuarine silt, cluster in the age range ca. 8000-8400 yr B.P. These data support the view that there was a minor regression or stillstand in the eustatic sea level rise at that time. Eleven tectonic subregions are recognized in the study area on the basis of average uplift rate. Most of these subregions coincide with those established from the number and ages of younger Holocene marine terraces of probable coseismic origin. ?? 1988.
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Age and height distribution of holocene transgressive deposits in eastern North Island, New Zealand