Thorium-230 Ages of Corals and Duration of the Last Interglacial Sea-Level High Stand on Oahu, Hawaii

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Science  07 Oct 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5182, pp. 93-96
DOI: 10.1126/science.266.5182.93


Thorium-230 ages of emergent marine deposits on Oahu, Hawaii, have a uniform distribution of ages from ∼114,000 to ∼131,000 years, indicating a duration for the last interglacial sea-level high stand of ∼17,000 years, in contrast to a duration of ∼8000 years inferred from the orbitally tuned marine oxygen isotope record. Sea level on Oahu rose to ≥1 to 2 meters higher than present by 131,000 years ago or ∼6000 years earlier than inferred from the marine record. Although the latter record suggests a shift back to glacial conditions beginning at ∼119,000 years ago, the Oahu coral ages indicate a near present sea level until ∼114,000 years ago.

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