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Low reservoir ages for the surface ocean from mid-Holocene Florida corals

Summary: Low reservoir ages for the surface ocean from mid-Holocene
Florida corals
Ellen R. M. Druffel,1
Laura F. Robinson,2
Sheila Griffin,1
Robert B. Halley,3
John R. Southon,1
and Jess F. Adkins4
Received 26 July 2007; accepted 1 February 2008; published 13 May 2008.
[1] The 14
C reservoir age of the surface ocean was determined for two Holocene periods (49084955 and
30083066 calendar (cal) B.P.) using U/Th-dated corals from Biscayne National Park, Florida, United States.
We found that the average reservoir ages for these two time periods (294 33 and 291 27 years, respectively)
were lower than the average value between A.D. 1600 and 1900 (390 60 years) from corals. It appears that the
surface ocean was closer to isotopic equilibrium with CO2 in the atmosphere during these two time periods than
it was during recent times. Seasonal d18
O measurements from the younger coral are similar to modern values,
suggesting that mixing with open ocean waters was indeed occurring during this coral's lifetime. Likely
explanations for the lower reservoir age include increased stratification of the surface ocean or increased D14


Source: Adkins, Jess F. - Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Geosciences