We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Geography

Mid-Late Holocene Sea-Level Changes in New Caledonia

Supervised by Dr Sarah Woodroffe

Understanding the melt history of the large ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland over the last few 1000 years is crucial in understanding the potential contribution of these ice sheets to sea-level rise in the future. However there are very few places on the earth where the local RSL curve closely approximates ice equivalent (eustatic) sea-level history through the Holocene. Ideally sites must be far from former ice sheets (far-field locations), tectonically stable and away from the margins of major continents. New Caledonia, situated c.800 miles NE of Australia in the Pacific Ocean is an ideal location from which to produce a record of ice-equivalent sea-level changes through the mid-late Holocene.

This project will develop and apply methods of reconstructing relative sea level (RSL) primarily using intertidal sediments and microfossils from around the coast New Caledonia, in order to understand the nature of RSL change during the mid-late Holocene. The project will have a multi-proxy approach, by both developing new sediment-based methods of RSL reconstruction and also where possible utilising different proxies including geomorphology and coral-based methods.

This research will complement ongoing work on RSL change in other low-latitude locations in the department, and will benefit from collaboration with Prof Glenn Milne (University of Ottawa). The research would involve fieldwork in New Caledonia.

Mid-Late Holocene sea-level changes in New Caledonia


Milne, G. A. and Mitrovica, J. X. 2008. Searching for eustasy in deglacial sea-level histories. Quaternary Science Reviews, 27, 2292-2302.
Woodroffe, S. A., 2009. Testing models of mid-late Holocene sea-level change, north Queensland, Australia. Quaternary Science Reviews, 28, 2474-2488.

To apply for this project please visit the How to Apply page for further information.