Abstract

Criteria for recognizing the maximum glacial eustatic lowering of sea level during Pleistocene time depend on the interpretation of terrace features on high-energy coastlines in structurally stable regions of relatively low sedimentation. A variety of factors favor the Bering shelf and southern Australia as areas likely to retain evidence of a deep terrace record. In both localities, there is strong morphologic evidence for a continuous terrace along the upper continental slope at about 240 m. Intermediate terraces are also displayed at about 165 and 200 m below a very uniform shelf-edge break at 146 m. A eustatic lowering of sea level to approximately 240 m is supported by deep submersible observations of terraces and gravel accumulations off lower California, subaerial erosion features on carbonate banks, and survey data from selected shallow seamounts.

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