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dc.contributor.authorO'Leary, Michael
dc.contributor.authorHearty, P.
dc.contributor.authorThompson, W.
dc.contributor.authorRaymo, M.
dc.contributor.authorMitrovica, J.
dc.contributor.authorWebster, J.
dc.identifier.citationO'Leary, Michael J. and Hearty, Paul J. and Thompson, William G. and Raymo, Maureen E. and Mitrovica, Jerry X. and Webster, Jody M. 2013. Ice sheet collapse following a prolonged period of stable sea level during the last interglacial. Nature Geoscience. 6 (9): pp. 796-800.

During the last interglacial period, 127-116 kyr ago, global mean sea level reached a peak of 5-9m above present-day sea level. However, the exact timing and magnitude of ice sheet collapse that contributed to the sea-level highstand is unclear. Here we explore this timing using stratigraphic and geomorphic mapping and uranium-series geochronology of fossil coral reefs and geophysical modelling of sea-level records from Western Australia. We show that between 127 and 119 kyr ago, eustatic sea level remained relatively stable at about 3-4 m above present sea level. However, stratigraphically younger fossil corals with U-series ages of 118.1±1.4 kyr are observed at elevations of up to 9.5 m above present mean sea level. Accounting for glacial isostatic adjustment and localized tectonics, we conclude that eustatic sea level rose to about 9 m above present at the end of the last interglacial. We suggest that in the last few thousand years of the interglacial, a critical ice sheet stability threshold was crossed, resulting in the catastrophic collapse of polar ice sheets and substantial sea-level rise.

dc.publisherNature Publishing Group, Macmillan Publishers Ltd
dc.titleIce sheet collapse following a prolonged period of stable sea level during the last interglacial
dc.typeJournal Article
dcterms.source.titleNature Geoscience
curtin.accessStatusFulltext not available

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