Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 620-621

Last Glacial Lowstand and Shelf Exposure

  • Yusuke YokoyamaAffiliated withAtmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo


Occurred at the Last Glacial Maximum (19,000–30,000 years ago) when sea level was lowered globally to as much as 120–130 m.

Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is the time when global temperature was significantly lower than that of the present and ice sheets covered large areas of northern hemisphere continents. The conventional definition of the LGM was made by an international research project group in the 1980s (e.g., CLIMAP Project Members, 1981) as was the time when low-latitude ocean temperature was at its minimum. However, recent advances of paleoclimate study show that the timing of the LGM is varied depending on the locations on the Earth’s surface. Therefore, the most recent date of the “global” LGM is defined as the time when the global ice volume was at its maximum and sea level was at its lowest (Mix et al., 2001). There had been various estimates of the exact levels of sea-level lowstand. Nakada and Lambeck (1988) and Fleming et al. (1998) reviewed published se ...

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