Sea-Level Highstand 81,000 Years Ago in Mallorca

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Science  12 Feb 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5967, pp. 860-863
DOI: 10.1126/science.1181725

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  1. Fig. 1

    Encrusted speleothems at various levels in caves from Mallorca. (A) Geologic map of Mallorca (10) and location of sampled caves (red dots). (B) Schematic cross-section through a coastal cave in Mallorca showing multiple carbonate encrustation levels. (C and D) Present-day and paleo levels of encrusted speleothems related to higher (E) and lower (F) sea-level stands. (G) Typical morphology for tidal range–related carbonate encrustation (size of speleothem, 20 cm). (H) Bathymetric map of the western Mediterranean region and the predicted present-day rate of sea-level change due to GIA [adapted from (15)].

  2. Fig. 2

    Comparison between the Mallorca and other sea-level estimates. (A) Elevation of MIS 5a encrusted speleothems from Mallorca (this study) and (B) other deposits from tectonically stable locations such as the Bahamas [Bah (22)], the Atlantic Coastal Plain [ACP (4, 6)], Bermuda [Ber (23, 24)], Grand Cayman [GC (25)], and Mallorca [Mal (1)]. (C) Sea-level reconstruction for Mallorca. Elevations and U/Th ages of encrusted speleothems throughout MIS 5 and at the onset of MIS 4 are shown (ages and 2σ error bars are color-coded by sample; blue-colored ages are obtained from earlier studies (10). (D) The reconstructed ocean water δ18O, scaled as sea level (29). (E) 60°N June insolation (27). The vertical yellow bar denotes the timing of peak MIS 5a sea level recorded at Mallorca and shows a good correlation with 60°N June insolation and the reconstructed ocean water δ18O scaled as sea level.