New radiocarbon dates provide ages for two submerged strandline features on the Massachusetts inner shelf. These ages provide limited control on a relative sea-level (RSL) curve for the late Wisconsinan and Holocene. The curve indicates a late Wisconsinan high stand of RSL of +33 m about 14,000 yr ago and a very short-lived relative low stand of about -43 m at about 12,000 yr ago followed by a rise to present sea level. Rapid changes of RSL around 12,000 yr ago may be related to changes in global glacial meltwater discharge and eustatic sea-level change shown by dated corals off Barbados. Variations in the magnitude and timing of RSL change from south to north along the coast of the western Gulf of Maine are due to greater crustal depression and later deglaciation to the north.
Additional publication details
Radiocarbon Ages from Two Submerged Strandline Features in the Western Gulf of Maine and a Sea-Level Curve for the Northeastern Massachusetts Coastal Region