Penultimate deglacial sea-level timing from uranium/thorium dating of Tahitian corals

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doi: 10.1126/science.1168754
Author(s): Thomas, Alex L.; Henderson, Gideon M.; Deschamps, Pierre; Yokoyama, Yusuke; Mason, Andrew J.; Bard, Edouard; Hamelin, Bruno; Durand, Nicolas; Camoin, Gilbert
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Oxford University, Department of Earth Sciences, Oxford, United Kingdom
Aix-Marseille Université, France
University of Tokyo, Japan
Volume Title: Science
Source: Science, 324(5931), p.1186-1189. Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 0036-8075 CODEN: SCIEAS
Note: In English. 38 refs.; illus.
Summary: The timing of sea-level change provides important constraints on the mechanisms driving Earth's climate between glacial and interglacial states. Fossil corals constrain the timing of past sea level by their suitability for dating and their growth position close to sea level. The coral-derived age for the last deglaciation is consistent with climate change forced by Northern Hemisphere summer insolation (NHI), but the timing of the penultimate deglaciation is more controversial. We found, by means of uranium/thorium dating of fossil corals, that sea level during the penultimate deglaciation had risen to ∼85 meters below the present sea level by 137,000 years ago, and that it fluctuated on a millennial time scale during deglaciation. This indicates that the penultimate deglaciation occurred earlier with respect to NHI than the last deglacial, beginning when NHI was at a minimum.
Year of Publication: 2009
Research Program: IODP Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 03 Geochronology; 24 Surficial Geology, Quaternary Geology; Absolute age; Actinides; Anthozoa; Atmosphere; Carbon dioxide; Cenozoic; Climate change; Climate forcing; Cnidaria; Correlation; Dates; Deglaciation; East Pacific; Expedition 310; French Polynesia; Holocene; Integrated Ocean Drilling Program; Invertebrata; Isotope ratios; Isotopes; Metals; O-18/O-16; Oceania; Orbital forcing; Oxygen; Pacific Ocean; Paleoclimatology; Polynesia; Quaternary; Radioactive isotopes; Sea-level changes; Society Islands; South Pacific; Southeast Pacific; Stable isotopes; Tahiti; Tahiti Sea Level Expedition; Th/U; U-238/U-234; Upper Holocene; Uranium; X-ray diffraction data
Coordinates: S174600 S172900 W1492400 W1493600
Record ID: 2009074514
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