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Radiocarbon Dating of Recent Intertidal Microbial Mats on Atoll Rims

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2016

Jean Trichet
391 rue de Lorette, F-45160 Olivet, France
Christine Hatté*
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (UMR 8212 CEA/CNRS/UVSQ), Domaine du CNRS, F-91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
Michel Fontugne
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (UMR 8212 CEA/CNRS/UVSQ), Domaine du CNRS, F-91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
3Corresponding author. Email:


Microbial mats (kopara in Polynesian) that develop in shallow brackish to hypersaline ponds on the rims of atolls were investigated for their accumulation process and rate. Two sequences of ∼30-cm-deep kopara, composed of 7 and 5 layers distinguished by their colors and sedimentological facies were collected in 1996 from the Tetiaroa atoll, French Polynesia. The combination of radiocarbon activity measurements on both organic and carbonate constituents, reservoir effect estimation, and comparison with the Southern Hemisphere atmospheric bomb-peak 14C record allowed us to establish a fine chronology of the layer successions documenting the mode of formation, erosion, and restoration of these microbial mat deposits.

Oceanic Carbon Cycle
Copyright © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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