Publication Details

Spencer, T. & Hamylton, S. M. (2018). Attainable standards of accuracy in the determination of Holocene sea levels in the Central Pacific: Introductory note. Atoll Research Bulletin, 619 147-149.


The research underpinning Stoddart and Murphy's paper 'Attainable standards of accuracy in the determination of Holocene sea-levels in the Central Pacific' was undertaken in 1990-1993. This was a time when topographic survey was on the cusp of moving from traditional ground-based levelling surveys, from fixed, sea level-related benchmarks, to methods based on satellite altimetry. The former approach required surveys to be related to a well-defined tidal record (as detailed by Stoddart, 1978), while the latter effectively removed the need for a local datum by providing a common, global reference point, essentially the centre of the earth. As Stoddart and Murphy themselves perceptively noted 'New mobile global positioning systems (GPS) and satellite altimetry surveys hold out the prospect of relatively high accuracy surveying even on remote islands'.