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Holocene Sea-Level Changes in the South and West Pacific
Patrick D. Nunn
Journal of Coastal Research
Special Issue No. 17. HOLOCENE CYCLES: CLIMATE, SEA LEVELS, AND SEDIMENTATION (1995), pp. 311-319
Published by: Coastal Education & Research Foundation, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25735658
Page Count: 9
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South and west Pacific island coasts are numerous (relative to island areas) and diverse owing to their large spatial range. The understanding of Holocene sea-level change around these Pacific islands has been affected both by developments in thinking about tectonics and by various models. New data from the Ovalau and elsewhere in Fiji refine the Holocene sea-level curve for the archipelago. It can be interpreted either as a smooth (single-transgression) curve or as an oscillatory one with most oscillations corresponding to the 1961 global compilation of Fairbridge. Data from Tonga are used to illustrate the insights into Holocene sea-level history which can be gained from uplift chronology. The converse is also true. Discussions of records of sea-level change on atolls make the point that emerged reef in such areas could be removed very rapidly so that its absence does not necessarily mean that it never existed. The danger of mistaking catch-up for keep-up reefs is highlighted. The history of Holocene sea-level studies in Samoa is instructive. It shows how a single misinterpreted site can have knock-on effects which cause evidence of alternatives to be overlooked. A brief discussion of sea-level change in the south and west Pacific over the past millennium is given.
Journal of Coastal Research © 1995 Coastal Education & Research Foundation, Inc.