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https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2020-247
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2020-247
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  10 Sep 2020

10 Sep 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Last interglacial (MIS 5e) sea-level proxies in southeastern South America

Evan J. Gowan1,2, Alessio Rovere2, Deirdre D. Ryan2, Sebastian Richiano3, Alejandro Montes4, Marta Pappalardo5, and Marina L. Aguirre6,7 Evan J. Gowan et al.
  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 2MARUM, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 3Instituto Patagónico de Geología y Paleontología, IPGP-CENPAT-CONICET. Puerto Madryn, Argentina
  • 4Universidad Nacional de Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia, Argentina
  • 5University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
  • 6CONICET, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Argentina
  • 7Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo (FCNyM), Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP), 1900 La Plata, Argentina

Abstract. Coastal southeast South America is one of the classic locations where there are robust, spatially extensive records of past high sea level. Sea-level proxies interpreted as being Last Interglacial (Marine Isotope Stage – MIS 5e) exist along the length of the Uruguayan and Argentinian coast, with exceptional preservation especially in Patagonia. Many coastal deposits are correlated to MIS 5e solely because they form the next highest terrace level above the Holocene highstand; however, dating control exists for some landforms from amino acid racemization, U/Th (on molluscs), electron spin resonance (ESR), and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating. As part of the World Atlas of Last Interglacial Shorelines (WALIS) database, we have documented a total of 60 MIS 5 proxies attributed with various degrees of precision to MIS 5e. Among these, 48 are sea-level indicators, and 11 are marine limiting indicators (sea level above the elevation of the indicator), and 1 is terrestrial limiting (sea level below the elevation of the indicator). Limitations on the precision and accuracy of chronological controls and elevation measurements means that most of these indicators are considered to be low quality. The database is available at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3991597 (Gowan et al., 2020).

Evan J. Gowan et al.

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Last interglacial (MIS 5e) sea-level proxies in southeastern South America Evan J. Gowan, Alessio Rovere, Deirdre D. Ryan, Sebastian Richiano, Alejandro Montes, Marta Pappalardo, and Marina L. Aguirre https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3991597

Evan J. Gowan et al.

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Short summary
During the last interglacial (130 to 115 thousand years ago), global sea level was higher than present. The World Atlas of Last Interglacial Shorelines (WALIS) has been created to document this. In this paper, we have compiled data for southeastern South America. There are landforms that indicate that sea level was 5 to 25 m higher than present during this time period. However, the quality of this data is hampered by limitations on elevation measurements, chronology and geological descriptions.
During the last interglacial (130 to 115 thousand years ago), global sea level was higher than...
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