Holocene Sea-Level Curves for Santa Monica Shelf, California Continental Borderland

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Science  17 Jul 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4505, pp. 331-333
DOI: 10.1126/science.213.4505.331


A curve is constructed showing changes in sea level at the Santa Monica shelf over the past 18,000 years. The curve is based on radiocarbon dates, sedimentologic data, and high-resolution seismic stratigraphic analysis of late Quaternary terrace deposits. Sea level was 117 meters below its present position about 18,000 years ago. During the first 8000 years of the Flandrian transgression, sea level rose to at least 24 meters, fell to about 46 meters, and then rose to 20 meters, all below present sea level. Subsequently, sea level rose more slowly and without discernible interruption to its present position.