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Late holocene sea level gilbert and ellice islands west central pacific ocean

, : Late holocene sea level gilbert and ellice islands west central pacific ocean. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 20(3): 503-530

Four coastal deposits are recognized: 2 intertidal and/or supratidal-calm-weather and stormy-weather beach breecia and conglomerate; and 2 subtidal-back-reef breccia and biohermal reef rock. High-level outcrops of the subtidal facies provide evidence for 6 second-order transgressions of Late Holocene age. Most of these have been radiocarbon dated from Tridacna shells. Tridacna samples were available instead, all coral dates were rejected because of secondary aragonite contamination. The ages of the 2nd-order transgressions correlate well with transgressions recorded from New Zealand and fall on a curve representing the 1st-order Flandrian Transgression and subsequent regression which in these islands reached a maximum of about +2.4 m 2760 radiocarbon years B.P. This maximum is about 1250 yr younger than the +2.1 m maximum recorded for the northern part of New Zealand, and thus fits a predicted difference in timing of the Flandrian Transgression maxima caused by oceanic salinity changes. The net fall in sea level of 2.4 m from the Flandrian Transgression maximum has been of major importance in the development of atoll islets, which, mainly, if not wholly, as a result of this fall, have been built from sand taken from the shallow margins of the lagoonal floor. It may be no coincidence that the earliest Micronesian and Polynesian [human] settlements date from about the period of the transgression maximum.


DOI: 10.1080/00288306.1977.10427598

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