Spatial variation in the MRE throughout the Scottish Post-Roman to late Medieval period: North Sea values (500-1350 BP)

Russell, N., Cook, G. , Ascough, P.L. and Dugmore, A. (2010) Spatial variation in the MRE throughout the Scottish Post-Roman to late Medieval period: North Sea values (500-1350 BP). Radiocarbon, 52(3), pp. 1166-1181.

40433.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Publisher's URL:


The marine radiocarbon reservoir effect (MRE) occurs as a spatially and temporally dependent variable owing to localized changes in oceanic water composition. This study investigates ΔR values (deviations from the global average MRE whose ΔR = 0) during the period 500–1350 BP for the east coast of Scotland, where a complex estuarine system exists that drains into the semi-enclosed North Sea basin. Due to the availability of suitable archaeological samples, the data set has a distinct Medieval focus that spans the area from Aberdeen in the north to East Lothian in the south. Many of the ΔR values are not significantly different from 0 (the global average), but there are occasional excursions to negative values (max –172 ± 20) indicating the presence of younger water. These values show greater variability compared to other published data for this general region, suggesting that considerable care must be taken when dating marine derived samples from archaeological sites on the east coast of Scotland.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cook, Professor Gordon and Ascough, Dr Philippa and Russell, Dr Nicola
Authors: Russell, N., Cook, G., Ascough, P.L., and Dugmore, A.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Radiocarbon
Publisher:University of Arizona
Published Online:01 January 2010
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2010 Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona
First Published:First published in Radiocarbon 52(3):116-1181
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record