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Record of MIS 5 sea-level highstands based on U/Th dated coral terraces of Haiti

Quaternary International
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2005.07.010
  • Earth Science


Abstract New geomorphologic investigations and new U–Th series dates from Haiti (Northwestern Peninsula) confirm the age of coral reef terraces assigned to MIS 5.5 (130 ka), MIS 5.3 (107 ka) and MIS 5.1 (83 ka) sea level peaks. They also provide evidence for a second high sea level occurring some thousand years before 118 ka, and indicate a second MIS 5.1 sea level stand at about 76 ka. These results are in agreement with the raised terraces of Barbados, although the staircase of Haiti consists of four steps compared to eight. The Haitian sequence can be compared with the maximal number of distinct MIS 5 sea-level highstands recorded in the world, from coral reef tracts, and their relative height above or below present sea level. Three MIS 5.5 sea-level changes have been recognized, with sea level oscillating above or near the present level until 122 ka only, dropping, then rising to −11 m below present sea level at 120 ka. Three high-frequency sea-level oscillations occurred during MIS 5.3 and a fourth during MIS 5.3–5.2. Two or three events may have occurred during MIS 5.l, according to whether the 73 ka event is considered to belong to MIS 5.1.

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