Positive deviations from linear sea-level trends represent important climate signals if they are persistent and geographically widespread. This paper documents rapid sea-level rise reconstructed from sedimentary records obtained from salt marshes in the Southwest Pacific region (Tasmania and New Zealand). A new late Holocene relative sea-level record from eastern Tasmania was dated by AMS(14)C (conventional, high precision and bomb-spike), Cs-137, Pb-210, stable Pb isotopic ratios, trace metals, pollen and charcoal analyses. Palaeosea-level positions were determined by foraminiferal analyses. Relative sea level in Tasmania was within half a metre of present sea level for much of the last 6000 yr. Between 1900 and 1950 relative sea level rose at an average rate of 4.2 +/- 0.1 mm/yr. During the latter half of the 20th century the reconstructed rate of relative sea-level rise was 0.7 +/- 0.6 mm/yr. Our study is consistent with a similar pattern of relative sea-level change recently reconstructed for southern New Zealand. The change in the rate of sea-level rise in the SW Pacific during the early 20th century was larger than in the North Atlantic and could suggest that northern hemisphere land-based ice was the most significant melt source for global sea-level rise. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science