The Feasibility of Using Melanopsis Shells as Radiocarbon Chronometers, Lake Kinneret, Israel
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CitationLev, L., Boaretto, E., Heller, J., Marco, S., & Stein, M. (2007). The feasibility of using Melanopsis shells as radiocarbon chronometers, Lake Kinneret, Israel. Radiocarbon, 49(2), 1003-1015.
DescriptionFrom the 19th International Radiocarbon Conference held in Keble College, Oxford, England, April 3-7, 2006.
AbstractWe investigated the feasibility of using Melanopsis shells as radiocarbon chronometers of paleolakes and springs in the Jordan Valley, Israel. For this purpose, we analyzed the 14C content of aragonite of living Melanopsis shells from different freshwater bodies of the northern Jordan Valley and Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and compared them to the contemporaneous water values. The Melanopsis shells are in 14C equilibrium with their habitat waters, allowing to specify a particular reservoir age for various water types. We measured ~750 yr for Lake Kinneret, ~2300 yr for northern Jordan, ~4600 yr for springs in the north Kinneret, and ~7200 yr for streams flowing directly from carbonate aquifers. These results were tested and corroborated by analyzing fossil Melanopsis shells of known age, measured on contemporaneous organic matter. We conclude that Melanopsis shells are reliable 14C chronometers and have the potential to be used as paleohydrological tracers.