230Th/234U and 14C dating of a lowstand coral reef beneath the insular shelf off Irabu Island, Ryukyus, southwestern Japan

Keiichi Sasaki, Akio Omura, Tetsuo Miwa, Yoshihiro Tsuji, Hiroki Matsuda, Toru Nakamori, Yasufumi Iryu, Tsutomu Yamada, Yuri Sato, Hiroshi Nakagawa

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20 Citations (Scopus)


High-resolution seismic reflection profiles delineated the distribution of mound-shaped reflections, which were interpreted as reefs, beneath the insular shelf western off Irabu Island, Ryukyus, southwestern Japan. A sediment core through one of the mounded structures was recovered from the sea floor at a depth of - 118.2m by offshore drilling and was dated by radiometric methods. The lithology and coral fauna of the core indicate that the mounded structure was composed of coral-algal boundstone suggesting a small-scaled coral reef. High-precision α-spectrometric 230Th/234U dating coupled with calibrated accelerator mass spectrometric 4C ages of corals obtained reliable ages of this reef ranging from 22.18±0.63 to 30.47±0.98 ka. This proves that such a submerged reef was formed during the lowstand stage of marine oxygen isotope stages 3-2. The existence of low-Mg calcite in the aragonitic coral skeleton of 22.18±0.63 ka provides evidence that the reef had once been exposed by lowering of the relative sealevel to at least - 126m during the last glacial maximum in the study area. There is no room for doubt that a coral reef grew during the last glacial period on the shelf off Irabu Island of Ryukyus in the subtropical region of western Pacific.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-467
Number of pages13
JournalIsland Arc
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Dec 1


  • Coral reef
  • Last glacial maximum
  • Ryukyu Islands
  • Sealevel
  • U-series dating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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