University Of Tasmania

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Nineteenth and twentieth century sea-level changes in Tasmania and New Zealand

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 13:29 authored by Gehrels, WR, Callard, SL, Moss, PT, Marshall, WA, Blaauw, M, John HunterJohn Hunter, Milton, JA, Garnett, MH
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 AMS14C (conventional, high precision and bomb-spike), 137Cs, 210Pb, 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.


Publication title

Earth and Planetary Science Letters








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Elsevier Science Bv

Place of publication

Po Box 211, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1000 Ae

Rights statement

2011 Elsevier B.V.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem)

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