Few of the marine terraces along the Pacific coast of North America have been dated using uranium-series techniques. Ten terrace sequences from southern Oregon to southern Baja California Sur have yielded fossil corals in quantities suitable for U-series dating by alpha spectrometry. U-series-dated terraces representing the ???80,000 yr sea-level high stand are identified in five areas (Bandon, Oregon; Point Arena, San Nicolas Island, and Point Loma, California; and Punta Banda, Baja California); terraces representing the ???125,000 yr sea-level high stand are identified in eight areas (Cayucos, San Luis Obispo Bay, San Nicolas Island, San Clemente Island, and Point Loma, California; Punta Bands and Isla Guadalupe, Baja California; and Cabo Pulmo, Baja California Sur). On San Nicolas Island, Point Loma, and Punta Bands, both the ???80,000 and the ???125,000 yr terraces are dated. Terraces that may represent the ???105,000 sea-level high stand are rarely preserved and none has yielded corals for U-series dating. Similarity of coral ages from midlatitude, erosional marine terraces with coral ages from emergent, constructional reefs on tropical coastlines suggests a common forcing mechanism, namely glacioeustatically controlled fluctuations in sea level superimposed on steady tectonic uplift. The low marine terrace dated at ???125,000 yr on Isla Guadalupe, Baja California, presumed to be tectonically stable, supports evidence from other localities for a +6-m sea level at that time. Data from the Pacific Coast and a compilation of data from other coasts indicate that sea levels at ???80,000 and ???105,000 yr may have been closer to present sea level (within a few meters) than previous studies have suggested.
Additional publication details
Uranium-Series Ages of Marine Terrace Corals from the Pacific Coast of North America and Implications for Last-Interglacial Sea Level History