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Comparison of 14C and U-Th Ages in Corals from IODP #310 Cores Offshore Tahiti

  • Nicolas Durand (a1), Pierre Deschamps (a1), Edouard Bard (a1), Bruno Hamelin (a1), Gilbert Camoin (a1), Alexander L Thomas (a2), Gideon M Henderson (a2), Yusuke Yokoyama (a3) (a4) and Hiroyuki Matsuzaki (a5)...


Shallow-water tropical corals can be used to calibrate the radiocarbon timescale. In this paper, we present a new data set based on the comparison between 14C ages and U-Th ages measured in fossil corals collected offshore the island of Tahiti during the Integrated Oceanic Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 310. After applying strict mineralogical and geochemical screening criteria, the Tahiti record provides new data for 2 distinct time windows: 7 data for the interval between 29 and 37 cal kyr BP and 58 for the last deglaciation period, notably a higher resolution for the 14–16 cal kyr BP time interval. There are 3 main outcomes of this study. First, it extends the previous Tahiti record beyond 13.9 cal kyr BP, the oldest U-Th age obtained on cores drilled onshore in the modern Tahiti barrier reef. Second, it strengthens the data set of the 14–15 cal kyr BP period, allowing for better documentation of the 14C age plateau in this time range. This age plateau corresponds to a drop of the atmospheric 14C synchronous with an abrupt period of sea-level rise (Melt Water Pulse 1 A, MWP-1 A). The Tahiti 14C record documents complex changes in the global carbon cycle due to variations in the exchange rates between its different reservoirs. Third, during the Heinrich event 1, the Tahiti record disagrees with the Cariaco record, but is in broad agreement with other marine and continental data.

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Corresponding author

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Present address: Laboratoire de Mesure du Carbone 14 UMS 2572, CEA-Saclay, Bât. 450, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France.



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