Abstract

The Enewetak windward reef flat is composed of two petrographically distinct pavement types, neither of which appears to reflect the composition of the contemporary surficial biological community. Stratigraphic, petrographic, and radiocarbon analyses indicate a rapid build-up of reef structure followed by a period of erosion. The results are most consistent with a sea level that (1) reached the present level by about 4000 yr B.P. (or earlier), (2) was more than 1 m higher than at present during the period 3500 to 2000 yr B.P., and (3) fell to the present level within the past 2,000 yr.

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