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In the early 1980s, the establishment of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility at the Big Hill salt dome (inland from Mc Faddin Beach) led to construction of a brine disposal pipeline across the marsh, the beach, and out into the Gulf.
Survey and backhoe trenching (1982-83) by Coastal Environments, Inc., in advance of this pipeline provided the first formal investigation of the geology immediately inland from the beach, and showed that the artifacts were not coming from this area.
In 1991, a conference on the site was organized in Port Arthur by Dee Ann Story, Paul Tanner, and Ellen Sue Turner, and 27 local collections were brought for examination, photography, and preliminary documentation.
These included both artifacts and vertebrate fossils.
These new studies suggest that maximum glaciation (and consequently, minimum sea levels) occurred about 26,000 calendar years ago, with sea level about 125 meters lower than at present.
Sabine Pass and the Louisiana state line lie another 19 km farther to the east.
It should also be noted that this is just the latest lowering of Gulf sea level during the Pleistocene — there were earlier highstands and lowstands.
By 14,000 years ago, sea level was rising rapidly because of ice sheet melting.
The approaching Gulf shoreline in relation to Mc Faddin Beach, at 15,000 B. Some of the latest and most interesting research on sea level history comes from Barbados, on the western edge of the North Atlantic, and it is based on isotopically dated samples of four species of drowned corals, one of which is known to grow at a restricted depth range.
Uranium-thorium dating is used to fix the ages of coral reefs that were killed by postglacial sea level rise.