Revised ΔR values for the Barents Sea and its archipelagos as a pre-requisite for accurate and robust marine-based 14C chronologies
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionQuaternary Geochronology. 2022, 68, 101244. 10.1016/j.quageo.2021.101244
The calibration of marine 14C dates requires the incorporation of regionally specific marine reservoir offsets known as ΔR, essential for accurate and meaningful inter-archive comparisons. Revised, regional ΔR (‘ΔRR’) values for the Barents Sea are presented for molluscs and cetaceans for the two latest iterations of the marine calibration curve, based on previously published pre-bomb live-collected and radiocarbon-dated samples (‘ΔRL’; molluscs: n = 16; cetaceans: n = 18). Molluscan ΔRR, determined for four broad regional oceanographic settings, are: western Svalbard (including Bjørnøya), −61 ± 37 14C yrs (Marine20), 94 ± 38 14C yrs (Marine13); Franz Josef Land, −277 ± 57 14C yrs (Marine20), −122 ± 38 14C yrs (Marine13); Novaya Zemlya, −156 ± 73 14C yrs (Marine20), 0 ± 76 14C yrs (Marine13); northern Norway, −86 ± 39 14C yrs (Marine20), 74 ± 24 14C yrs (Marine13). Molluscan ΔRR values are considered applicable to other marine carbonate materials (e.g., foraminifera, ostracods). Cetacean ΔRR are determined for toothed (n = 10) and baleen (n = 8) whales, and a combined toothed-baleen group (n = 18): toothed, −161 ± 41 14C yrs (Marine20), 1 ± 41 14C yrs (Marine13); baleen, −158 ± 43 14C yrs (Marine20), 8 ± 41 14C yrs (Marine13); combined baleen-toothed whales, −160 ± 41 14C yrs (Marine20), 4 ± 49 14C yrs (Marine13). Where identification and separation of baleen and toothed whales is impossible the combined ΔRR term may be used. However, we explicitly discourage the application of existing cetacean ΔRR terms to other marine mammals. Our new ΔRR values are applicable for as long as those broad oceanographic conditions (circulation and ventilation) have persisted, i.e., through the Holocene. We recommend using the latest iteration of the marine calibration curve, Marine20, which seems to better capture the time-variant nature of R compared to Marine13. More ΔRL datapoints for both molluscs and cetaceans would improve the accuracy and precision of ΔRR. In the meantime, our new ΔR terms facilitate the calibration of marine 14C dates across the region, paving the way for meaningful and accurate late Quaternary histories and inter-regional comparisons.