Journal of Ocean University of China

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 183–190 | Cite as

Reconsidering melt-water pulses 1A and 1B: Global impacts of rapid sea-level rise

  • J. Paul LiuEmail author
  • John D. Milliman
Research Papers


Re-evaluation of the post-glacial sea level derived from the Barbados coral-reef borings suggests slightly revised depth ranges and timing of melt-water pulses MWP-1A (96–76m, 14.3–14.0ka cal BP) and IB (58–45m, 11.5–11.2ka cal BP), respectively. Ages of non-reef sea-level indicators from the Sunda Shelf, the East China Sea and Yellow Sea for these two intervals are unreliable because of the well-documented radiocarbon (14C) plateau, but their vertical clustering corresponds closely with MWP-1A and IB depth ranges. Close correlation of the revised sea-level curve with Greenland ice-core data suggests that the 14C plateau may be related to oceanographic-atmospheric changes due to rapid sea-level rise, fresh-water input, and impaired ocean circulation. MWP-1A appears to have occurred at the end of Bølling Warm Transition, suggesting that the rapid sea-level rise may have resulted from lateral heat transport from low to high-latitude regions and subsequent abrupt ice-sheet collapses in both North America-Europe and Antarctica. An around 70 mm a−1 transgression during MWP-1A may have increased freshwater discharge to the North Atlantic by as much as an order of magnitude, thereby disturbing thermohaline circulation and initiating the Older Dry as global cooling.

Key words

melt-water pulse MWP-1A sea-level 14C plateau coral reef Bølling Transition 


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Copyright information

© Ocean University of China (OUC) 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marine, Earth and Atmosphere SciencesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.School of Marine ScienceCollege of William and MaryGloucester PointUSA

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