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Implications for the dating of Wisconsinan (Weichselian) late-glacial events of systematic radiocarbon age differences between terrestrial plant macrofossils from a site in SW Ireland

Turney, C.S.M., Coope, G.R., Harkness, D.D., Lowe, J.J., and Walker, M.J.C. (2000) Implications for the dating of Wisconsinan (Weichselian) late-glacial events of systematic radiocarbon age differences between terrestrial plant macrofossils from a site in SW Ireland. Quaternary Research, 53 (1). pp. 114-121. ISSN 0033-5894 (doi:10.1006/qres.1999.2087)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/qres.1999.2087

Abstract

AMS radiocarbon dates were obtained from Salix herbacea leaves, Carer seeds, and bulk organic detritus from a lake sediment profile of Wisconsinan (Weichselian) Lateglacial age in SW Ireland. There is a systematic age difference between the dated series from the two types of macrofossils, with ages obtained from Salix herbacea leaves being 900 to 1500 C-14 years younger than those obtained from Carer seeds. The latter tend to be more in accord with dates from the total organic detritus in the lake sediment, although the bulk organic fraction invariably registered the older ages. Intact survival of the fragile Salix leaves indicates that they are unlikely to have been physically transferred within the sediment matrix and/or otherwise reworked from the surrounding catchment, Hence, these macrofossils are the more likely to be contemporaneous with the time of deposition, However, there is no significant correlation between measured C-14 age and depth in the Salix values, which scatter over a range of 700 C-14 years. In contrast, the age/depth relationship for Carer shows a significant reversal, possibly reflecting the redeposition of these macrofossils, and therefore giving radiocarbon ages that are anomalously old, The data have important implications for the dating of lake sediment sequences by AMS radiocarbon measurement of terrestrial plant macrofossils.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lowe, Prof Joseph
Authors: Turney, C.S.M., Coope, G.R., Harkness, D.D., Lowe, J.J., and Walker, M.J.C.
Subjects:Q Science > QE Geology
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Quaternary Research
ISSN:0033-5894

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