Holocene sea-level change and hydro-isostasy along the west coast of Kyushu, Japan

Yusuke Yokoyama, Masao Nakada, Yasuo Maeda, Shinji Nagaoka, Jun'ichi Okuno, Eiji Matsumoto, Hiroshi Sato, Yoshiaki Matsushima

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61 Citations (Scopus)


Mid- to late-Holocene sea-level variations have been obtained at sites along the west coast of Kyushu, Japan. Sea-level observations for this relatively stable area are very important for evaluating the crustal tilting associated with the hydro-isostatic adjustment due to the last deglaciation, and for examining the cause of underwater Jomon sites (submerged archeological sites during the Jomon period of mid-Holocene) typically observed in this region. For these purposes, we conducted systematic boring samplings at sites from Goto Island to Tamana along the latitude of about 33°N. Then we performed diatom assemblage and pyrite-sulfur analyses of these sediment samples and 14C datings for intertidal shells in order to get the sea-level variations for these sites. Observations at Tsumizu faced to Oomura Bay with tidal range of 0.9 m show a sea-level high- stand of 1 m at about 5500 yr B.P. (years before present) followed by smoothly falling to the present level. Evidences for sea-level oscillation of greater than 50 cm have not been found here. Relative sea-levels at about 5000 yr B.P. are, however, -2 m at Goto Island (125 km west of Tsumizu) and 2 m at Tamana (50 km east of Tsumizu). Thus observations at sites along the traverse from Goto Island to Tamana are indicative of crustal tilting of about ~3- 4 m for the distance of 175 kin, which seems to be consistent with the prediction caused by the hydro-isostatic adjustment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-47
Number of pages19
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Palaeontology


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