Sea Levels during the Past 35,000 Years

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Science  06 Dec 1968:
Vol. 162, Issue 3858, pp. 1121-1123
DOI: 10.1126/science.162.3858.1121


A sea-level curve of the past 35,000 years for the Atlantic continental shelf of the United States is based on more than 80 radiocarbon dates, 15 of which are older than 15,000 years. Materials include shallow-water mollusks, oolites, coralline algae, beachrock, and salt-marsh peat. Sea level 30,000 to 35,000 years ago was near the present one. Subsequent glacier growth lowered sea level to about -130 meters 16,000 years ago. Holocene transgression probably began about 14,000 years ago, and continued rapidly to about 7000 years ago. Dates from most shelves of the world agree with this curve, suggesting that it is approximately the eustatic curve for the period.

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