Skip to main content
×
Home

Whole-Rock Aminostratigraphy and Quaternary Sea-Level History of the Bahamas

  • Paul J. Hearty (a1) and Darrell S. Kaufman (a2)
Abstract

The surficial geology of the tectonically stable Bahamian archipelago preserves one of the most complete records of middle to late Quaternary sea-level-highstand cycles in the world. However, with the exception of deposits from marine isotope substage (MIS) 5e, fossil corals for radiometric dating of this rich stratigraphic sequence are rare. This study utilizes the previously published, independent lithostratigraphic framework as a testing ground for amino acid racemization in whole-rock limestone samples. At least six limestone–soil couplets provide a relative age sequence of events that encompass as many interglacial–glacial cycles. D-Alloisoleucine/L-isoleucine data fall into six clusters, or “aminozones.” On the basis of independent dating and the inferred correlation with global MIS, the ages of several aminozones are known, while the ages of others are calculated from calibrated amino acid geochronology. This study demonstrates the utility of the whole-rock aminostratigraphy method for dating and correlating widespread emergent marine deposits, constitutes the first regional geochronological framework for the Bahamas, and highlights major sea-level events over the past half million years.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Carew J. L., Mylroie J. E.(1987). A refined geochronology for San Salvador Island, Bahamas. InProceedings of the 3rd Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas(Curran H. A., Ed.), CCFL Bahamian Field Station, pp. 3544.
Carew J.L., Mylroie J.E.(1995). Quaternary tectonic stability of the Bahamian Archipelago: Evidence from fossil coral reefs and flank margin caves. Quaternary Science Reviews, 14, 145153.
Chen J.H., Curran H.A., White B., Wasserburg G.J.(1991). Precise chronology of the last interglacial period: 234U/230Th data from fossil coral reefs in the Bahamas. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 103, 8297.
Hearty P.J. (1998). The geology of Eleuthera Island, Bahamas: A rosetta stone of Quaternary stratigraphy and sea-level history. Quaternary Science Reviews, 17, 333355.
Hearty P.J., Kindler P.(1993). New perspectives on Bahamian geology: San Salvador Island, Bahamas. Journal of Coastal Research, 9, 577594.
Hearty P.J., Kindler P.(1993). An illustrated stratigraphy of the Bahama Islands: In search of a common origin. Bahamas Journal of Science, 1, 2845.
Hearty P.J., Kindler P.(1997). The stratigraphy and surficial geology of New Providence and surrounding islands, Bahamas. Journal of Coastal Research, 13, 798812.
Hearty P.J., Vacher H.L., Mitterer R.M.(1992). Aminostratigraphy and ages of Pleistocene limestones of Bermuda. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 104, 471480.
Hearty P.J., Kindler P., Cheng H., Edwards R.L.(1999). Evidence for a +20 m middle Pleistocene sea-level highstand (Bermuda and Bahamas) and partial collapse of Antarctic ice. Geology, 27, 375378.
Hearty P. J., Kindler P., Cheng H., Edwards R. L.(1999b). The Kaena Highstand of O'ahu Hawai'i: Further Support for Partial Antarctic Ice Collapse during Marine Isotope Stage 11. Fall Meeting 1999, American Geophysical Union.
Hearty P.J., Kaufman D.S., Olson S.L., James H.F.(2000). Stratigraphy and whole-rock amino acid geochronology of key Holocene and Last Interglacial carbonate deposits in the Hawaiian Islands. Pacific Science, 54, 4
Imbrie J. et al. (9 authors) (1984). The orbital theory of Pleistocene climate: Support from a revised chronology of the marine δ18O record. InMilankovitch and Climate(Berger A. L. et al., Eds.), pp. 269305. Reidel, Dordrecht.
Kindler P., Hearty P.J.(1996). Carbonate petrology as an indicator of climate and sea-level changes: New data from Bahamian Quaternary units. Sedimentology, 43, 381399.
Kindler P., Hearty P.J.(1997). Geology of the Bahamas: Architecture of Bahamian Islands. Developments in Sedimentology, 54, 141160.
Ludwig K.R., Muhs D.R., Simmons K.R., Halley R.B., Shinn E.A.(1996). Sea-level records at ∼80,000 from tectonically stable platforms: Florida and Bermuda. Geology, 24, 211214.
Miller G.H., Brigham-Grette J.(1989). Amino acid geochronology: Resolution and precision in carbonate fossils. Quaternary International, 1, 111128.
Mitterer R.M. (1968). Amino-acid composition of organic matrix in calcareous oolites. Science, 162, 14981499.
Mitterer R.M., Kriausakul N.(1989). Calculation of amino acid racemization ages based on apparent parabolic kinetics. Quaternary Science Reviews, 8, 353357.
Muhs D.H., Bush C.A., Stewart K.C., Rowland T.R., Crittenden R.C.(1990). Geochemical evidence of Saharan dust parent material for soils developed on Quaternary limestones of Caribbean and western Atlantic islands. Quaternary Research, 33, 157177.
Muhs D. R., Ludwig K. R., Halley R. B., Shinn E. A.(1994). Extended Duration of Peak Last-Interglacial Sea-Level High-Stand from UraniumSeries Ages of Corals and Ooids from the Bahamas. AMQUA Program and Abstracts of the 13th Biennial Meeting,234.
Rutter N.W., Blackwell B.(1995). Amino acid racemization dating. Geological Association of Canada, Geotext, 2, 125167.
Stearns H.T. (1978). Quaternary shorelines in the Hawaiian Islands. Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin, 237, 157.
Wehmiller J.F. (1984). Interlaboratory comparison of amino acid enantiomeric ratios in fossil Pleistocene mollusks. Quaternary Research, 22, 109120.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 71 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 11th December 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.