Establishing chronologies from acid-insoluble organic 14C dates on Antarctic (Ross Sea) and Arctic (North Atlantic) marine sediments
AbstractTo compare north and south polar marine paleoenvironments over the last 30,000 years, comparable chronological (radiocarbon) records must be developed and refined. Many areas in the polar regions do not preserve marine carbonates (foraminifera, mollusks), and thus age determinations, of necessity, are based on the acid-insoluble organic (AIO) fraction of the sediment. Although AIO ages are problematic and rarely used in the Arctic, they provide reasonable and consistent chronologies for the Ross Sea, Antarctica. AIO dates are meaningful in the Ross Sea because there are relatively high levels of productivity, good preservation of marine biogenic material in the sediment, and little input of terrigenous sediment and old/dead carbon. Event stratigraphy based upon proxy records of biogenic silica and ?13C can be used to assess the reliability of the AIO dates and surface age corrections. Reconstructed time-series of changes in the biogenic silica content of cores from the western Ross Sea show apparent similarities with the ‘classic’deglacial climate sequence of the northern North Atlantic. Once the absolute ages of the antarctic AIO dates are constrained by independently dated records to validate surface age corrections, it will be possible to directly compare the timing of events such as ice-rafting events in the sedimentary record.
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