Pleistocene uplift and palaeoenvironments of Macquarie Island: evidence from palaeobeaches and sedimentary deposits

D. A. Adamson*, P. M. Selkirk, D. M. Price, N. Ward, J. M. Selkirk

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Macquarie Island (54°30′S, 159°00′E) is an emergent part of the Macquarie Ridge Complex. A number of landforms, including palaeobeaches now above sea level were formed by marine erosion during uplift of the island. Two lines of evidence are considered: direct dating of raised beaches by the thermoluminescence method, and cross-matching of the world sea-level sequence with the altitudinal sequence of beaches. An average rate of uplift for the island of 0.8 mma-1 is calculated. At this rate, 4000 m of Macquarie Ridge uplift would have taken about five million years and the top of the island may first have emerged some 700 to 600 ka. During the six Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles since then, there has been periglacial rather than glacial activity on cold uplands, but conditions suitable for vegetation of the present type persisted close to sea level.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)25-32
    Number of pages8
    JournalPapers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
    Volume130
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1996

    Keywords

    • Macquarie Island
    • Macquarie Ridge
    • uplift
    • raised beaches
    • palaeo beaches
    • thermoluminescence dating
    • Pleistocene

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