• A High-Resolution Radiocarbon Calibration Between 11,700 and 12,400 Calendar Years BP Derived from 230Th Ages of Corals from Espiritu Santo Island, Vanuatu

      Burr, G. S.; Beck, J. Warren; Taylor, F. W.; Récy, Jacques; Edwards, R. Lawrence; Cabioch, Guy; Corrège, Thierry; Donahue, D. J.; O'Malley, J. M. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1998-01-01)
      This paper presents radiocarbon results from a single Diploastrea heliopora coral from Vanuatu that lived during the Younger Dryas climatic episode, between co. 11,700 and 12,400 calendar yr BP. The specimen has been independently dated with multiple 230Th measurements to permit calibration of the 14C time scale. Growth bands in the coral were used to identify individual years of growth. 14C measurements were made on each year. These values were averaged to achieve decadal resolution for the 14C calibration. The relative uncertainty of the decadal 14C data was below 1% (2 sigma). The data are in good agreement with the existing dendrochronology and allow for high-resolution calibration for most years. Variations in the fine structure of the 14C time series preserved in this specimen demonstrate sporadic rapid increases in the Delta-14C content of the surface ocean and atmosphere. Certain sharp rises in Delta-14C are coincident with gaps in coral growth evidenced by several hiatuses. These may be related to rapid climatic changes that occurred during the Younger Dryas. This is the first coral calibration with decadal resolution and the only such data set to extend beyond the dendrochronology-based 14C calibration.
    • Radiocarbon Calibration by Means of Mass Spectrometric 230Th/234U and 14C Ages of Corals: An Updated Database Including Samples from Barbados, Mururoa and Tahiti

      Bard, Edouard; Arnold, Maurice; Hamelin, Bruno; Tisnérat-Laborde, Nadine; Cabioch, Guy (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1998-01-01)
      As first shown by Bard et al. (1990a), high-precision 230Th-234U ages can be used successfully to calibrate the radiocarbon time scale beyond the high-precision tree-ring calibration that now reaches 11,900 cal BP (Kromer and Spurk 1998). Using mass spectrometric techniques, we measured 14C and 230Th ages on new samples collected from boreholes drilled off the islands of Tahiti and Mururoa (French Polynesia) in order to complement the database previously obtained on Barbados corals (Bard et al. 1990a, 1993).