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An alternative astronomical calibration of the lower Pleistocene timescale based on ODP Site 677

  • N. J. Shackleton (a1), A. Berger (a2) and W. R. Peltier (a3)

Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 677 provided excellent material for high resolution stable isotope analysis of both benthonic and planktonic foraminifera through the entire Pleistocene and upper Pliocene. The oxygen isotope record is readily correlated with the SPECMAP stack (Imbrie et al. 1984) and with the record from DSDP 607 (Ruddiman et al. 1986) but a significantly better match with orbital models is obtained by departing from the timescale proposed by these authors below Stage 16 (620 000 years). It is the stronger contribution from the precession signal in the record from ODP Site 677 that provides the basis for the revised timescale. Our proposed modification to the timescale would imply that the currently adopted radiometric dates for the Matuyama–Brunhes boundary, the Jaramillo and Olduvai Subchrons and the Gauss–Matuyama boundary underestimate their true astronomical ages by between 5 and 7%.

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Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of The Royal Society of Edinburgh
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