Marine-derived 14C calibration and activity record for the past 50,000 years updated from the Cariaco Basin Academic Article uri icon


  • An expanded Cariaco Basin 14C chronology is tied to 230Th-dated Hulu Cave speleothem records in order to provide detailed marine-based 14C calibration for the past 50,000 years. The revised, high resolution Cariaco 14C calibration record agrees well with data from 230Th-dated fossil corals back to 33 ka, with continued agreement despite increased scatter back to 50 ka, suggesting that the record provides accurate calibration back to the limits of radiocarbon dating. The calibration data document highly elevated ?14C during the Glacial period. Carbon cycle box model simulations show that the majority of observed ?14C change can be explained by increased 14C production. However, from 45 to 15 ka, ?14C remains anomalously high, indicating that the distribution of radiocarbon between surface and deep ocean reservoirs was different than it is today. Additional observations of the magnitude, spatial extent and timing of deep ocean ?14C shifts are critical for a complete understanding of observed Glacial ?14C variability.

publication date

  • December 2006