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https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2020-166
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2020-166
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  25 Aug 2020

25 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A standardized database of MIS 5e sea-level proxies in southern Africa (Angola, Namibia and South Africa)

J. Andrew G. Cooper1,2 and Andrew N. Green2,1 J. Andrew G. Cooper and Andrew N. Green
  • 1Geography and Environmental Science, Ulster University, Coleraine BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland, UK
  • 2Discipline of Geology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Abstract. Evidence for sea-level change during and around Marine Isotopic Stage 5e (ca. 125 ka) in southern Africa derives from a wide variety of geomorphic and sedimentological sea-level indicators, supported in the past 2 decades by absolute chronological control. In addition to these proxies, data provided by both terrestrial (dune sediments and archaeological remains) and marine (lagoonal and nearshore littoral sediments) limiting points provide broad constraints on sea level. Here, we review publications describing these data points. Using the framework of the World Atlas of Last Interglacial Shorelines, we insert in a standardized database all the elements needed to assess former paleo relative sea level, and the chronological constraints associated with them (including uncertainties). Overall, we reviewed 69 studies, from which we extracted 35 sea-level indicators and 25 limiting points.

As far as age attribution is concerned, early dating of molluscs and whole-rock beachrock samples using U-Series allowed ating of several sea-level indicators during the 1980s but the more widespread application of Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating since 2004 has yielded many more (and more accurate) dates from several sites. This has helped resolve the nature and timing of MIS5e shorelines and has the potential to further elucidate the apparent presence of two or more sea-level peaks at several South African sites during this interval. The standardized sea-level database presented in this paper is the first of its kind for this region. Future research should be directed to improve the stratigraphic description of LIG shorelines and to obtain better dating, high-accuracy elevation measurements with better palaeo-RSL interpretation.

J. Andrew G. Cooper and Andrew N. Green

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J. Andrew G. Cooper and Andrew N. Green

Data sets

MIS 5e sea-level proxies in southern Africa (Angola, Namibia and South Africa), Version 2 J. A. G. Cooper https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3960136

Descriptions of database fields for the World Atlas of Last Interglacial Shorelines (WALIS) (Version 1.0) A. Rovere, D. Ryan, C. Murray-Wallace, A. Simms, M. Vacchi, A. Dutton, T. Lorscheid, P. Chutcharavan, D. Brill, M. Bartz, N. Jankowski, D. Mueller, K. Cohen, and E. Gowan https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3961544

J. Andrew G. Cooper and Andrew N. Green

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Short summary
A standardized database compiled to a common format, is presented for indicators of sea level during the last interglacial from the southern African coast (Angola, Namibia and South Africa). These enable further analysis of the nature of the sea-level highstand and its regional variability.
A standardized database compiled to a common format, is presented for indicators of sea level...
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