US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in SCIENCE VOL. 266, 7 OCTOBER 1994.


Thorium-230 ages of emergent marine deposits on Oahu, Hawaii, have a uniform dis- tribution of ages from ~114,000 to ~131,000 years, indicating a duration for the last interglacial sea-level high stand of ~17,000 years, in contrast to a duration of ~8000 years inferred from the orbitally tuned marine oxygen isotope record. Sea level on Oahu rose to ≥1 to 2 meters higher than present by 131,000 years ago or ~6000 years earlier than inferred from the marine record. Although the latter record suggests a shift back to glacial conditions beginning at ~119,000 years ago, the Oahu coral ages indicate a near present sea level until ~114,000 years ago.