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Radiocarbon Dating of Deep-Sea Corals

  • Jess F Adkins (a1), Shelia Griffin (a2), Michaele Kashgarian (a3), Hai Cheng (a4), E R M Druffel (a2), E A Boyle (a5), R Lawrence Edwards (a4) and Chuan-Chou Shen (a4)...


Deep-sea corals are a promising new archive of paleoclimate. Coupled radiocarbon and U-series dates allow 14C to be used as a tracer of ocean circulation rate in the same manner as it is used in the modern ocean. Diagenetic alteration of coral skeletons on the seafloor requires a thorough cleaning of contaminating phases of carbon. In addition, 10% of the coral must be chemically leached prior to dissolution to remove adsorbed modern CO2. A survey of modern samples from the full δ14C gradient in the deep ocean demonstrates that the coralline CaCO3 records the radiocarbon value of the dissolved inorganic carbon.

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