• The Late Quaternary Sedimentary Record of Reykjanes Ridge, North Atlantic

      Prins, M. A.; Troelstra, S. R.; Kruk, R. W.; van der Borg, K.; de Jong, A. F. M.; Weltje, G. J. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      Variability in surface and deep ocean circulation in the North Atlantic is inferred from grain-size characteristics and the composition of terrigenous sediments from a deep-sea core taken on Reykjanes Ridge, south of Iceland. End-member modeling of grain size data shows that deep-ocean circulation in this area decreased significantly during periods of maximum iceberg discharge. The episodes of reduced circulation correlate with the cold and abrupt warming phases of the Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles as recognized in the Greenland ice cores.
    • The Site of Verrebroek 'Dok' and its Contribution to the Absolute Dating of the Mesolithic in the Low Countries

      Van Strydonck, Mark J. Y.; Crombé, Philippe; Maes, Ann (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      The wetland site of Verrebroek “Dok” situated in northern Belgium is one of the largest and best dated locations of Mesolithic material in northwestern Europe. Salvage excavations organized since 1992 at this large, unstratified open-air settlement have revealed more than 50 spatially independent artifact concentrations with traces of numerous fireplaces. Single entity dating of charred hazelnut shells from surface-hearths and charcoal from hearth-pits was used to obtain information not only on the sites duration, but also on the relation between the surface hearths and the hearth-pits. The dates were also used to look at discrepancies between the radiocarbon chronology and the typo-chronology of the lithic artifacts.
    • The Source of the Yarkon Springs, Israel

      Avisar, D.; Kronfeld, J.; Kolton, J.; Rosenthal, E.; Weinberger, G. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      Radiocarbon and tritium analyses are used to show that the accepted conceptual hydrological model of the Yarkon-Taninim aquifer is untenable. The conventional model would have the groundwater flow in the carbonate Judea Group aquifer from the Beer Sheva region in the south to discharge at the Yarkon springs. Moreover, the conventional model considers the Judea Group aquifer to be a single hydrological entity. However, analysis of the Yarkon springs and surrounding wells demonstrate that it is stratified into upper and lower aquifers. The water in the deeper aquifer is fresher, cooler and younger compared to the water in the overlying aquifer. The deeper aquifer water type is identical in composition to the Ca-Mg-HCO3 Judean Hills recharge water immediately to the east. It is this recharge water that is dominant at the Yarkon Springs. There appears to be no derived appreciable contribution of groundwater from the Beersheva region in the south. Thus the currently accepted hydrologic model is in need of serious revision. The present study introduces new and high quality groundwater resources to be target for exploitation.
    • The Varying Radiocarbon Activity of Some Recent Submerged Estonian Plants Grown in the Early 1990s

      Olsson, Ingrid U.; Kaup, Enn (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      Eleven samples of aquatic plants from three Estonian lakes were analyzed for their radiocarbon content in a collaboration between the laboratories in Tallinn and Uppsala. delta-13C values for the actual species were compiled to allow normalization of activities measured in Tallinn without delta-13C values. The range for well determined species is usually a few per mil and the statistical uncertainty greater than or equal to 1 per mil delta-13C values vary considerably for different Potamogeton species and Myriophyllum spp. Lake Antu Sinijarv and Lake Päidre are hard-water lakes containing 300 and 200 mg HCO3-/L, respectively. One sample consisted of a carbonate crust deposited on a Ceratophyllum demersum plant in L. Antu Sinijarv. Its Delta-14C value was -147.3 +/6.7 per mil in 1990, whereas the plant had a value of -74.1 +/8.0 per mil (delta-13C = -35.0 per mil). The same species in L. Päidre had a Delta-14C value of +8.0 +/8.8 per mil (delta-13C = -25.2 per mil) in 1992. Other species in L. Päidre contained more 14C, from a Delta-14C value of about +30 per mil to about +155 per mil, the latter value measured in Tallinn on floating leaves of Nuphar lutea, close to that of the contemporaneous atmospheric CO2. In the third lake, Lake Punso, containing >30 mg HCO3-/L, the stems of Nuphar lutea exhibited in 1990 a memory effect: the activity, Delta-14C = 209.6 +/10.3 per mil, significantly exceeded that of the contemporaneous atmospheric CO2. However, the floating leaves of the same plant had the Delta-14C value 143.1 +/10.0 per mil, close to the atmospheric 14C level in 1990. The memory is explained by nutrients stored in the root stock, used when the growth starts.
    • Towards a Radiocarbon Chronology of the Late-Glacial: Sample Selection Strategies

      Walker, M. J. C.; Bryant, C.; Coope, G. R.; Harkness, D. D.; Lowe, J. J.; Scott, E. M. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      This paper outlines a dating program designed to test the reproducibility of radiocarbon dates on different materials of Late-Glacial age (plant macrofossils, fossil beetle remains, and the "humic" and "humin" chemical fractions of limnic sediments) using a combination of radiometric (beta counting) and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) techniques. The results have implications for the design of sampling strategies and for the development of improved dating protocols, both of which are important if a high-precision 14C chronology for the Late-Glacial is to be achieved.
    • Transport of Sellafield-Derived 14C from the Irish Sea Through the North Channel

      Gulliver, Pauline; Cook, Gordon T.; MacKenzie, Angus B.; Naysmith, Philip; Anderson, Robe (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      Since the early 1950s, the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Northwest England has released radiocarbon into the Irish Sea in a mainly inorganic form as part of its authorized liquid effluent discharge. In contrast to the trend in which the activities of most radionuclides in the Sellafield liquid effluent have decreased substantially, 14C discharges have increased since 1994–95. This has largely been due to a policy change favoring marine discharges over atmospheric discharges. 14C is radiologically important due to its long half life, mobility in the environment, and propensity for entering the food chain. Current models for radionuclide dispersal in the Irish Sea are based on a reversible equilibrium distribution coefficient (kd), an approach which has been shown to be inadequate for 14C. Development of predictive models for the fate of Sellafield-derived 14C requires a thorough understanding of the biogeochemical fluxes between different carbon reservoirs and the processes controlling the net flux of 14C out of the Irish Sea, through the North Channel. In this study, both an empirical and a halving time approach indicate that close to 100% of the 14C that is discharged from Sellafield is dispersed beyond the Irish Sea on a time-scale of months in the form of DIC, with little transfer to the PIC, POC, and DOC fractions, indicating that the “dilute and disperse” mechanism is operating satisfactorily. This is consistent with previous research that indicated little transfer of 14C to Irish Sea sediments. While significant 14C enhancements have been observed in the biota of the Irish Sea, this observation is not necessarily in conflict with either of the above as the total biomass has to be taken into account in any calculations of 14C retention within the Irish Sea.