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Late Holocene Marine Radiocarbon Reservoir Correction for the Southern and Eastern Coasts of South Africa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 December 2017

Matjie L Maboya*
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental & Geographical Science, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa Physical Geography, Institute of Geography, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Löbdergraben 32, 07743 Jena, Germany
Michael E Meadows
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental & Geographical Science, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University, 500 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200241, China
Paula J Reimer
Affiliation:
School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, United Kingdom Centre for Climate, the Environment & Chronology (14CHRONO), School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, United Kingdom
Björn C Backeberg
Affiliation:
Coastal Systems, Natural Resources and the Environment, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Jan Celliers Road, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa Nansen-Tutu Centre for Marine Environmental Research, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Thormøhlens Gate 47, N-5006, Bergen, Norway
Torsten Haberzettl
Affiliation:
Physical Geography, Institute of Geography, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Löbdergraben 32, 07743 Jena, Germany
*
*Corresponding author. Email: mmaboya09@alaalumni.org.

Abstract

The marine reservoir effect is the difference in radiocarbon (14C) between the atmosphere and the marine surface ocean. To overcome the dating errors induced, it is necessary to correct marine 14C ages for this effect. ΔR is the difference between the marine 14C age and the marine calibration curve based on an ocean-atmosphere box diffusion model, which accounts for the time delay in diffusion of carbon into the ocean from the atmosphere and biosphere. This global assessment, however, requires computation of a regional ∆R value for calibration to cater for studies based on a local scale. In this paper the marine reservoir effect is assessed for the southern and eastern coasts of South Africa using 14C dating on pre-1950 marine shells of known age. The resultant ∆R values enable a more complete understanding of the marine reservoir effect along the southern and eastern coastal zone of South Africa. 14C age determinations were conducted on 15 shell samples of known age and the results, combined with previously published values, were used to calculate regional marine reservoir correction values. The east coast has a weighted mean ∆R of 121±16 14C yr, while the south coast has a weighted mean ∆R of 187±18 14C yr.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2017 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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