US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Quaternary Research 58, 36–40 (2002).


The last interglacial period has a timing and duration that can be estimated from U-series dating of emergent, coral-bearing deposits on tectonically stable coastlines. High-precision dating from Bermuda, the Bahamas, Hawaii, and Australia suggests that the last interglacial period had a sea level at least as high as present from ~128,000 to 116,000 yr B.P. Sea level reached a near-present level more quickly after the close of the penultimate glacial period than at the close of the last glacial period and the duration of high sea level is longer than that implied by the deep-sea record.