Some Considerations of the Compilation of Late Quaternary Sea Level Curves: A North American Perspective

  • W. S. Newman
  • R. R. Pardi
  • R. W. Fairbridge
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 256)


A sea-level curve is either hand-drawn (as many of the earlier curves were) or the result of some statistical analysis (usually least-squares). The presentation of a given curve drawn through a set of empirical data points is a statement of some hypothesis or hypotheses. These hypotheses fall into three general categories; 1. that post-glacial sea level has risen smoothly and continuously along a trajectory which approximates a logarithmically or low-order polynomial curve intersecting the contemporary datum; 2. that post-glacial sea-level rise has been interrupted by one or more regressive episodes; 3. that the record of post-glacial sea level at any given locality is segmental so that segments of the curve may not project through the origin and thus may be recording local and regional neotectonic events.

Geoidal, neotectonic, and tidal range changes play crucial roles in varying sea-level trajectories through time. Our current investigations along the east coast of the United States demonstrate that intraplate seismotectonics are sometimes responsible for the confusing levels of basal peat dates.


Geological Society Central Uplift America Bulletin Texas Gulf Coast Gulf Coast Association 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. S. Newman
    • 1
  • R. R. Pardi
    • 2
  • R. W. Fairbridge
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeologyQueens College of the City University of New YorkFlushingUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Environmental ScienceWilliam Paterson College of New JerseyWayneUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geological SciencesColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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