Rapid settlement of Majuro Atoll, central Pacific, following its emergence at 2000 years CalBP

Hajime Kayanne, Toru Yasukochi, Toru Yamaguchi, Hiroya Yamano, Minoru Yoneda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Atoll islands are areas of low, flat land, and the sustainability of habitable land in such environments is sensitive to even slight changes in sea level. The projected rise in sea level during this century may lead to the submergence of atoll islands and the widespread loss of habitable land. However, the actual time sequence of past sea level change, island emergence events, and human settlement of newly emerged islands remain poorly constrained. The results of geomorphological and archaeological surveys, combined with calibrated radiocarbon age dates, at Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, central Pacific, reveal that the emergence of the island, triggered by a fall in sea level, was quickly followed by human settlement. The elevation of the central body of the island exceeded high water level at 2000 years CalBP, and the complete formation of the island occurred within an interval of 100 years. The island was colonized by people shortly after emergence, at 2000 years CalBP, prior to the establishment of dense vegetation, and has been continuously settled since that time.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL20405
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume38
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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atoll
sea level
human settlement
submergence
vegetation
sea level change
water level
sustainability
intervals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Rapid settlement of Majuro Atoll, central Pacific, following its emergence at 2000 years CalBP. / Kayanne, Hajime; Yasukochi, Toru; Yamaguchi, Toru; Yamano, Hiroya; Yoneda, Minoru.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 38, No. 20, L20405, 2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kayanne, Hajime ; Yasukochi, Toru ; Yamaguchi, Toru ; Yamano, Hiroya ; Yoneda, Minoru. / Rapid settlement of Majuro Atoll, central Pacific, following its emergence at 2000 years CalBP. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2011 ; Vol. 38, No. 20.
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