|As expressed in my first review, this manuscript represents a very valuable summary of the data on the sea-level proxies available for southeastern South America during the Last Interglacial. |
The present version of the manuscript took into account the majority of the suggestions made and I find the outcome is a more complete and accurate text with uniformised data and information for the different sections. Moreover, the new tables and modified figures improve the preprint. Also, the authors provided explicit explanation and relevance for the inclusion of the Holocene curve that I found it was not sufficiently explained in the first version. I am in general satisfied with the author’s response to my main concerns as well.
Despite this, I have some comments regarding some author’s responses and some minor changes to be fixed.
Regarding the author’s responses:
In page 2:
- When they refer to the deposits from northern Argentina and Uruguay and that ages will never have the precision of deep ocean sediments, this is true for all the deposits considered in the present paper not only for that particular area.
- When the authors refer to the taphonomy issue, I never meant that taphonomy can substitute an age assignment. However, a taphonomic analysis along with the information derived from the molluscan assemblage (both!) can provide relevant evidence, especially in those areas more prone to show biogeographic changes of thermally sensitive species. That is, for northern Argentina and Uruguayan assemblages, as shown in the specific references. Moreover, numerical dating techniques are not the revealed truth, and fortunately discussed in this manuscript’s version, especially those ages derived from dating methods advised against to be performed on molluscs. Instead, numerical ages should be interpreted considering other lines of evidence, such as palaeontological data, global or local temperature scenario, deposit elevation, and global and local sea level position. This is often a complex discussion and some of these evidences may yield contradictory information.
Also, in favour of taphonomy and related data, the elevation of a given fossiliferous deposit cannot be simply taken as a proxy of sea level position. A taphonomic and sedimentological analysis can provide the original depth of deposition, an information of paramount importance to determine past sea level position (not only the elevation alone).
I do not want to extend on the the Río de La Plata and salinity issue, but the presence of extralimital warm water taxa, especially at the northern area considered in this study, certainly respond to palaeotemperature changes when the above barrier was not sufficiently strong as today (as show in the specific papers).
Finally, when the authors say in the first paragraph of page 3 that differences in taxonomic molluscan composition is not a valid tool to discriminate between substages, only for example between Last Interglacial and Holocene, well, it depends on the specific study area. The area reviewed in this study is very broad and as said before, there are more sensitive sectors than others in terms of palaeoenvironmental change to be detected. Also, to discriminate Holocene assemblages, radiocarbon ages do constitute here a confident tool.
Regarding the minor changes, please see the pdf file.