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Early Humans and Rapidly Changing Holocene Sea Levels in the Queen Charlotte Islands-Hecate Strait, British Columbia, Canada

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Science  04 Jul 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5322, pp. 71-74
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5322.71

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Abstract

Marine cores from the continental shelf edge of British Columbia (Canada) demonstrate that sea level at the shelf edge was 153 meters below present 14,000 calendar years ago and more than 30 meters lower than the maximum eustatic low of −120 meters. Dated artifacts, including stone tools, indicate that humans occupied this region by at least 10,200 calendar years before present (B.P.). Local sea level rose rapidly (5 centimeters per year) during the period of early human occupation as a result of eustatic sea-level rise and glacio-isostatic forebulge movement. This shelf edge site was first elevated and then subsided. The exposed shelf edge was available for human occupation and may have served as a migration route during times of lowered sea levels between 13,500 and 9500 14C years B.P.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: Josenhan{at}agc.bio.ns.ca

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