New evidence of Hawaiian coral reef drowning in response to meltwater pulse-1A

Last modified: 
December 16, 2019 - 12:03pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2017
Date published: 11/2017
Authors: Kelsey Sanborn, Jody Webster, Yusuke Yokoyama, Andrea Dutton, Juan Braga, David Clague, Jennifer Paduan, Daniel Wagner, John Rooney, John Hansen
Journal title: Quaternary Science Reviews
Volume: 175
Pages: 60 - 72
ISSN: 02773791

Fossil coral reefs are valuable recorders of glacio-eustatic sea-level changes, as they provide key temporal information on deglacial meltwater pulses (MWPs). The timing, rate, magnitude, and meltwater source of these sea-level episodes remain controversial, despite their importance for understanding ocean-ice sheet dynamics during periods of abrupt climatic change. This study revisits the west coast of the Big Island of Hawaii to investigate the timing of the −150 m H1d terrace drowning off Kawaihae in response to MWP-1A. We present eight new calibrated 14C-AMS ages, which constrain the timing of terrace drowning to at or after 14.75 + 0.33/-0.42 kyr BP, coeval with the age of reef drowning at Kealakekua Bay (U-Th age 14.72 ± 0.10 kyr BP), 70 kms south along the west coast. Integrating the chronology with high-resolution bathymetry and backscatter data, detailed sedimentological analysis, and paleoenvironmental interpretation, we conclude the H1d terrace drowned at the same time along the west coast of Hawaii in response to MWP-1A. The timing of H1d reef drowning is within the reported uncertainty of the timing of MWP-1A interpreted from the IODP Expedition 310 Tahitian reef record.

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