A First Tentative Holocene Sea-Level Curve for Singapore


  • Patrick A. Hesp
  • Chang Chew Hung
  • Michael Hilton
  • Chou Loke Ming
  • Ian M. Turner


Sea-level change, coral bommies, marine transgression


A Holocene sea level curve for Singapore is presented. Radiocarbon dating of a variety of shell, wood, peat and coral material is utilised to derive the curve. Most of the dated material comes from a low energy, "quietwater" estuarine environment at Sungei Nipah, and the remainder from the tops of relict Porites coral bommies at Pulau Semakau. Determination of the curve takes into consideration the environmental factors and conditions that determined the elevation range of the material dated. The tentative results indicate that the Holocene Post-Glacial Marine Transgression reached present mean sea level around 6,500 to 7,000 years BP, rose to nearly 3m above present, and began to fall to present MSL around 3000 or less years ago. A comparison of the proposed sea-level curve with the curve for Peninsular Malaysia indicates that the highest mid-Holocene sea level may have been closer to +3m rather than +5m.