Milankovitch Hypothesis Supported by Precise Dating of Coral Reefs and Deep-Sea Sediments

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Science  19 Jan 1968:
Vol. 159, Issue 3812, pp. 297-300
DOI: 10.1126/science.159.3812.297


Barbados provides a possibly unique opportunity for reconstruction of the times and elevations of late-Pleistocene high stands of the sea. The island appears to be rising from the sea at a uniform rate that is fast enough to separate in elevation coral-reef tracts formed at successive high stands of the sea. Unaltered coral found in the lower terraces enables high-precision Th230: U234 and Pa231: U235 dating. Three distinct high stands of the sea are found about 122,000, 103,000, and 82,000 years ago. New Pa231 and Th230 dates from a deep-sea core also indicate that Ericson's W-X cold-to-warm climatic change occurred close to 126,000 years ago. These data show a parallelism over the last 150,000 years between changes in Earth's climate and changes in the summer insolation predicted from cycles in the tilt and precession of Earth's axis.