Radiocarbon Chronologies of Holocene Lacustrine Sediments from the Southern Coast of Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
CitationFontana, S. L. (2007). Radiocarbon chronologies of Holocene lacustrine sediments from the southern coast of Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Radiocarbon, 49(1), 103-116.
AbstractTwo lacustrine sediment sequences, La Olla 1 and Laguna del Sauce Grande, on the southern coast of Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, were investigated for carbon reservoir effects, which may influence age-depth chronologies. Fruits of the submerged macrophyte Ruppia cf. maritima from the La Olla 1 sequence, and gastropod shells of Heleobia parchappii from the Laguna del Sauce Grande core, were radiocarbon dated. In addition, terrestrial plant remains and shells of living specimens were dated to assess the presence and magnitude of a reservoir effect. A reservoir age of about 800 14C yr is estimated for the aquatic plant samples of La Olla 1 for the early Holocene. The reservoir effect is attributed to the inwash of 14C-deficient bicarbonate from the surrounding sand dunes. The decay of marine organisms and salt spray are likely the main sources of 14C-deficient carbon. The magnitude of the reservoir effect is consistent with marine reservoir offsets reported for the region. The 14C measurements on shells of living and fossil specimens of Heleobia parchappii indicate the absence of a reservoir effect at Laguna del Sauce Grande, which may be due to the large size and shallow nature of the lake. This study shows how the reservoir ages of 2 close-by lakes in very similar geological settings can be largely different. These results have significant implications for the interpretation of 14C dates from lacustrine deposits in the region.