Quaternary Raised Coral-Reef Terraces on Sumba Island, Indonesia

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Science  28 Jun 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5014, pp. 1834-1836
DOI: 10.1126/science.252.5014.1834


A spectacular sequence of coral-reef terraces (six steps broader than 500 meters and many minor substeps) is developed near Cape Laundi, Sumba Island, between an ancient patch reef 475 meters high and sea level. Several raised reefs have been dated with the electron spin resonance and the uranium-series dating methods. The uplift trend deduced from these reefs is 0.5 millimeter per year; most terraces, although polycyclic in origin, appear to correspond to specific interglacial stages, with the oldest terrace formed 1 million years ago. This puts them among the longest and most complete mid-Quaternary terrace sequences.