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The Abrolhos bank, in southern Bahia State (BA), is the largest coral reef system in the southwestern Atlantic. It is highly influenced by the Brazil Current (BC), since it is located in the continental shelf. By contrast, Todos os Santos Bay (TSB), in Salvador, capital of Bahia State (BA) has an important coral biodiversity, located in a bay inlet with restricted water circulation. Coral cores were collected in those sites and were analyzed for density band counting and by Th/U dating to estimate growth rates and age. In this work, we present 14C ages of some of these bands in order to evaluate the marine reservoir effect (MRE) to which the colonies were subjected during growth. It is the first study making use of coral skeleton samples for MRE determination for the Brazilian coast. ΔR was calculated to be –151±23 14C yr, while that for the TSB was –107±51 14C yr.
Among the oldest remains of living beings to have inhabited the Earth’s surface, there are the stromatolites—laminated sedimentary rocks associated with lithified mats of layered phototrophic microbial communities—which grow in specific environmental conditions. In the present work, we study a recent carbonatic stromatolite from Lagoa Vermelha (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), a shallow coastal hypersaline lagoon. X-ray diffraction was associated to a depth chronological model defining three different sections based on changes in mineral composition of the stromatolite with increased dolomite content. Although a mean growth rate of 0.19±0.03 mm/yr is observed, the model discloses decreasing growth rates among the sections. Since dolomite formation can be related to high availability of Mg+2, confirmed by an expressive presence of (Ca, Mg)CO3, the lower growth rates were associated to a more arid environment, until approximately 1440 cal AD, with higher temperatures and consequently promoting water evaporation and salinity enhancement.
The Radiocarbon Laboratory of the Universidade Federal Fluminense, in Brazil, has been successfully applying the zinc reduction method for graphitization of carbon samples since the development of its early protocols in 2009. Successive methodological research aiming to improve and, ultimately, optimize the precision and accuracy of our results indicates that graphitization temperatures as low as 460°C promote erratic 13C isotopic fractionation, but an approximately constant fractionation of about –5‰ is achieved at 520°C. In this work, we present isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) δ13C results for 14C reference materials graphitized at 550°C with variable amounts of zinc. Based on the results obtained from the addition of 20, 35, and 50 mg of zinc, we conclude that a slightly lower variation in 13C isotope fractionation during graphitization is obtained with less zinc. Moreover, the average isotopic fractionation is not altered by increasing the graphitization temperature from 520°C to 550°C.
Shellmounds are archaeological sites found across the Brazilian coast and form an important record of the human occupation of this area during the Holocene. The presence of both terrestrial and marine remains within the same archaeological context enables the comparison of different carbon reservoirs. There is only a small number of similar studies for the coast of south-southeastern Brazil. Previous work was based on the analysis of pre-bomb shells from museum collections and paired charcoal/marine shells from archaeological sites. This article assesses the potential use of terrestrial shells as representative of atmospheric carbon reservoir in the calculation of the marine reservoir effect (MRE) of the southeastern Brazilian coast. The presence of both terrestrial and marine shells over several archaeological layers represents a great potential for calculating reservoir corrections and their temporal variation.
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