Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Relative Sea‐Level Changes Over the Past Centuries in the Central Ryukyu Arc Inferred From Coral Microatolls

Abstract : This study focuses on Okinawa and Yoron islands, in order to better understand tectonics in the Ryukyu Arc related to the subduction zone. We used coral microatolls-known for their centimetric accuracy in the record of relative sea-level (RSL) changes-to reconstruct RSL changes over the last century from living microatolls. A fossil microatoll in Yoron was used to discuss possible RSL changes beyond the last century. The signal consists of emergence whose rate varies through time, interrupted by decadal to multidecadal periods of sudden and/or gradual submergence and by interannual sea-level falls. Comparison with other existing RSL records in the arc highlights RSL variability along the arc. This pattern contrasts with the homogeneous and linear absolute regional sea-level rise, implying that this latter signal cannot fully explain our observations and that an additional process is required. We suggest the subduction zone as a possible source for generating centimetric scale RSL changes observed in coral microatolls. We tested how the Ryukyu megathrust could explain our observations with elastic dislocation modeling. The emergence trend could be explained by interseismic loading on the plate interface with a minimum coupling rate of 25%, which is higher than previous estimates based on short instrumental records. As for the submergence events that occurred regularly in the coral record, we show that they could be explained by slow slip events on the shallower part of the megathrust or in the transition zone. Such process could accommodate a significant part of the total convergence.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Catherine Beaussier <>
Submitted on : Friday, March 12, 2021 - 10:55:58 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 19, 2021 - 3:37:19 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, June 13, 2021 - 6:38:02 PM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive



J. Weil‐accardo, N. Feuillet, K. Satake, T. Goto, K. Goto, et al.. Relative Sea‐Level Changes Over the Past Centuries in the Central Ryukyu Arc Inferred From Coral Microatolls. Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth, American Geophysical Union, 2020, 125 (2), ⟨10.1029/2019JB018466⟩. ⟨insu-03164037⟩



Record views


Files downloads