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Timing of Holocene sea-level highstands by mass spectrometric U-series ages of a coral reef from Leizhou Peninsula, South China Sea

Abstract

Systematic mass spectrometric 230Th ages are reported for aPorites coral reef terrace from Dengloujiao, Leizhou Peninsula, South China Sea. Seven episodes of coral growth were recognized in this terrace: 7125±96, 6764±29, 5826±37, 5006±54, 2543±24,1915±15, and 1513±22 calendar years before present (cal. aBP). 50% of the coral age population fall between 7200 and 6600 cal. aBP, marking post-glacial stabilization of global sea level. Considering the facts that (i) Dengloujiao reef flat was measured at 1.6–2.5 m above modern tidal datum plane; (ii) modernPorites corals in the South China Sea are living at least ∼1 m below the modern tidal datum plane; (iii) the top 20–30 cm of the reef was eroded; and (iv) crustal subsidence in the region since mid-Holocene was negligible, we conclude that the above age groups record at least two major periods (7200–5000 and 2500–1500 cal. aBP) of high sea-level at least 2.9–3.8 m above the present-day level.

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Correspondence to Jianxin Zhao.

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Zhao, J., Yu, K. Timing of Holocene sea-level highstands by mass spectrometric U-series ages of a coral reef from Leizhou Peninsula, South China Sea. Chin.Sci.Bull. 47, 348–352 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02901194

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Keywords

  • coral
  • South China Sea
  • U-series dating
  • sea level
  • Holocene