Direct determination of the timing of sea level change during termination II

Christina D Gallup, Hai Cheng, F. W. Taylor, Larry Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Scopus citations


An outcrop within the last interglacial terrace on Barbados contains corals that grew during the penultimate deglaciation, or Termination II. We used combined 230Th and 231Pa dating to determine that they grew 135.8 ± 0.8 thousand years ago, indicating that sea level was 18 ± 3 meters below present sea level at the time. This suggests that sea level had risen to within 20% of its peak last-interglacial value by 136 thousand years ago, in conflict with Milankovitch theory predictions. Orbital forcing may have played a role in the deglaciation, as may have isostatic adjustments due to large ice sheets. Other corals in the same outcrop grew during oxygen isotope (δ18O) substage 6e, indicating that sea level was 38 ± 5 meters below present sea level, about 168.0 thousand years ago. When compared to the δ18O signal in the benthic V19-30/V19-28 record at that time, the coral data extend to the previous glacial cycle the conclusion that deep-water temperatures were colder during glacial periods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-313
Number of pages4
Issue number5553
StatePublished - Jan 11 2002

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


Dive into the research topics of 'Direct determination of the timing of sea level change during termination II'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this