A re-analysis of the Lake Suigetsu terrestrial radiocarbon calibration dataset

Staff, R.A. , Bronk Ramsey, C. and Nakagawa, T. (2010) A re-analysis of the Lake Suigetsu terrestrial radiocarbon calibration dataset. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 268(7-8), pp. 960-965. (doi:10.1016/j.nimb.2009.10.074)

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Abstract

Lake Suigetsu, Honshu Island, Japan provides an ideal sedimentary sequence from which to derive a wholly terrestrial radiocarbon calibration curve back to the limits of radiocarbon detection (circa 60 ka bp). The presence of well-defined, annually-deposited laminae (varves) throughout the entirety of this period provides an independent, high resolution chronometer against which radiocarbon measurements of plant macrofossils from the sediment column can be directly related. However, data from the initial Lake Suigetsu project [1]; [2] ; [3] were found to diverge significantly from alternative, marine-based calibration datasets released around the same time (e.g. [4] ; [5]). The main source of this divergence is thought to be the result of inaccuracies in the absolute age profile of the Suigetsu project, caused by both varve counting uncertainties and gaps in the sediment column of unknown duration between successively-drilled core sections. Here, a re-analysis of the previously-published Lake Suigetsu data is conducted. The most recent developments in Bayesian statistical modelling techniques (OxCal v4.1; [6]) are implemented to fit the Suigetsu data to the latest radiocarbon calibration datasets and thereby estimate the duration of the inter-core section gaps in the Suigetsu data. In this way, the absolute age of the Lake Suigetsu sediment profile is more accurately defined, providing significant information for both radiocarbon calibration and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction purposes.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Staff, Dr Richard
Authors: Staff, R.A., Bronk Ramsey, C., and Nakagawa, T.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0168-583X
ISSN (Online):1872-9584
Published Online:09 October 2010

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