Radiocarbon and Uranium-Series Dating of the Plitvice Lakes Travertines
U 238 U 234
U 234 Th 230
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CitationSrdoč, D., Osmond, J. K., Horvatinčić, N., Dabous, A. A., & Obelić, B. (1994). Radiocarbon and uranium-series dating of the Plitvice Lakes travertines. Radiocarbon, 36(2), 203-219.
AbstractRadiocarbon and uranium-series ages of the calcareous deposits of the Plitvice Lakes show that travertines were deposited during three warm, humid, interglacial oxygen isotope stages. According to our measurements, only calcite crystals or crystal aggregates represent reliable material for both 230Th/234U and 234U/238U dating. Compact old travertine in the form of sandstone is less reliable; it can be dated by both methods provided that its detrital contamination is not significant, demonstrated by very low 14C activity (<1.5-2.0 pMC) and a high 230Th/232Th ratio. Old porous travertine contaminated with recent carbonates and Th-bearing clay (pMC > 5, 230Th/232Th < 5) gives erroneous results by both methods. Stage 1(Holocene) deposition is shown primarily by 14C dating corroborated by sedimentological and palynologic studies as well as by both 230Th/ 234U and 234U/238U disequilibrium methods. The intensive growth of travertine barriers coincided with significant climate warming in the Holocene. Stage 5 deposition is confirmed by the 230Th/234U dating of crystalline calcite aggregates embedded in the travertine matrix and by concordant 230Th/234U and 234U/238U ages, assuming that the 234U/238U activity ratio of 1.88 observed in modern streams and in Holocene deposits can be extended to past epochs. The travertine deposition period was very short, peaking ca. 120 +/- 10 ka BP. Stage 11 deposition is indicated by 234U/238U dating only, the period being within the 234U decay range, but not that of 230Th. Stage 11 travertine was deposited ca. 420 +/- 50 ka BP. We did not find travertine samples with U-series ages indicating a growth period during relatively warm Stages 7 and 9; due to the scarcity of old travertine outcrops, these and possibly other stages cannot be excluded on the basis of presented data. All of these isotopic dating results concur with the field relation of the travertine complex of the Plitvice Lakes.