Compound-specific radiocarbon dating of the varved Holocene sedimentary record of Saanich Inlet, Canada

TitleCompound-specific radiocarbon dating of the varved Holocene sedimentary record of Saanich Inlet, Canada
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsSmittenberg, RH, Hopmans, EC, Schouten, S, Hayes, JM, Eglinton, TI, Damste, JSS
Date PublishedMay 1
ISBN Number0883-8305
Keywordsbritish-columbia, compound-specific radiocarbon dating, crenarchaeol, ionization mass-spectrometry, marine-sediments, mediterranean sea, membrane-lipids, ne pacific, odp leg 169s, organic-matter, pacific-ocean, rapid isolation, Reservoir age, reservoir ages, saanich inlet

[1] The radiocarbon contents of various biomarkers extracted from the varve-counted sediments of Saanich Inlet, Canada, were determined to assess their applicability for dating purposes. Calibrated ages obtained from the marine planktonic archaeal biomarker crenarchaeol compared favorably with varve-count ages. The same conclusion could be drawn for a more general archaeal biomarker (GDGT-0), although this biomarker proved to be less reliable due to its less-specific origin. The results also lend support to earlier indications that marine crenarchaeota use dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) as their carbon source. The average reservoir age offset DeltaR of 430 years, determined using the crenarchaeol radiocarbon ages, varied by +/-110 years. This may be caused by natural variations in ocean-atmosphere mixing or upwelling at the NE Pacific coast but variability may also be due to an inconsistency in the marine calibration curve when used at sites with high reservoir ages.