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The sea level in the last interglacial


230Th/234U dating of coral terraces at 2–9 m above sea level on ‘stable’ oceanic islands has suggested that the sea level during the last interglacial, 120,000–140,000 yr BP (refs 1–3) was slightly higher than at present. However, accurate dating of interglacial shoreline facies on continental coasts far removed from plate boundaries has been largely neglected (the west coast of Australia1 and Florida4 are exceptions). Attempts have been made to date interglacial shoreline deposits from SE Australia using molluscs5, but this has proved unreliable6. The recent discovery of buried corals at two localities on the E coast of Australia has provided an opportunity to determine more precise ages by 230Th/234U dating.

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MARSHALL, J., THOM, B. The sea level in the last interglacial. Nature 263, 120–121 (1976).

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