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New marine ΔR values for Arctic Canada

Faculty Advisor




Radiocarbon, Reservoir correction, Calibration, Arctic, Molluscs, ΔR

Abstract (summary)

For more than four decades, the reporting of 14C dates on marine molluscs from Arctic Canada has been notable for the lack of consistently applied marine reservoir corrections. We propose that the common approach of reporting Canadian Arctic marine 14C dates using presumed time-invariant reservoir corrections be abandoned in favour of calibration of 14C dates, using the current standard protocol. This approach best facilitates inter- and intra-regional correlation, and correlation with other geochronometers. In order to enable the consistent calibration of marine 14C dates from Arctic Canada, we analysed a 14C database of 108 marine mollusc samples collected live between 1894 and 1956, and determined regional reservoir offset values (ΔR) for eight oceanographically distinct regions. The following new ΔR values should be used for 14C calibration: NW Canadian Arctic Archipelago, 335 ± 85 yrs; Foxe Basin, 310 ± 90 yrs; NE Baffin Island, 220 ± 20 yrs; SE Baffin Island, 150 ± 60 yrs; Hudson Strait, 65 ± 60 yrs; Ungava Bay, 145 ± 95 yrs; Hudson Bay, 110 ± 65 yrs; and James Bay, 365 ± 115 yrs.

Publication Information

Roy D. Coulthard, Mark F.A. Furze, Anna J. Pieńkowski, F. Chantel Nixon, & John H. England (2010). New marine ΔR values for Arctic Canada. Quaternary Geochronology, 5(4), 419-434.


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