Continuous marine radiocarbon reservoir calibration and the 13C Suess effect in the Irish Sea: results from the first multi-centennial shell-based marine master chronology

Butler, P.G., Scourse, J.D., Richardson, C.A., Wanamaker Jr, A.D., Bryant, C.L. and Bennell, J.D. (2009) Continuous marine radiocarbon reservoir calibration and the 13C Suess effect in the Irish Sea: results from the first multi-centennial shell-based marine master chronology. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 279(3-4), pp. 230-241. (doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2008.12.043)

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Abstract

The identification in various proxy records of periods of rapid (decadal scale) climate change over recent millennia, together with the possibility that feedback mechanisms may amplify climate system responses to increasing atmospheric CO2, highlights the importance of a detailed understanding, at high spatial and temporal resolutions, of forcings and feedbacks within the system. Such an understanding has hitherto been limited because the temperate marine environment has lacked an absolute timescale of the kind provided by tree-rings for the terrestrial environment and by corals for the tropical marine environment. Here we present the first annually resolved, multi-centennial (489-year), absolutely dated, shell-based marine master chronology. The chronology has been constructed by detrending and averaging annual growth increment widths in the shells of multiple specimens of the very long-lived bivalve mollusc Arctica islandica, collected from sites to the south and west of the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. The strength of the common environmental signal expressed in the chronology is fully comparable with equivalent statistics for tree-ring chronologies. Analysis of the 14C signal in the shells shows no trend in the marine radiocarbon reservoir correction (ΔR), although it may be more variable before ∼ 1750. The δ13C signal shows a very significant (R2 = 0.456, p < 0.0001) trend due to the 13C Suess effect.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bryant, Dr Charlotte
Authors: Butler, P.G., Scourse, J.D., Richardson, C.A., Wanamaker Jr, A.D., Bryant, C.L., and Bennell, J.D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0012-821X
ISSN (Online):1385-013X

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