Marine Science Faculty Publications

Caribbean Sclerosponge Radiocarbon Measurements Re-interpreted in Terms of U/Th age Models

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Sclerosponge, Ceratoporella nicholsoni, Radiocarbon, U-series dating, N. Atlantic

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Previously unpublished AMS radiocarbon measurements of a sclerosponge from tongue of the ocean (TOTO), Bahamas, as well as preliminary data from an investigation of the radiocarbon records of sclerosponges living at different depths in the adjacent Bahamas basin, Exuma Sound, are interpreted in terms of U-series age models. The data are compared to an existing Caribbean sclerosponge radiocarbon bomb curve measured using standard gas proportional beta counting and used to interpret a 210Pb age model. The Δ14C records from the sclerosponges illustrate a potential for use of radiocarbon both as a tracer of subsurface water masses or as an additional age constraint on recently sampled sclerosponges. By using an independent age model, this study lays the framework for utilizing sclerosponges from different locations in the tropics and subtropics and different depths within their wide depth range (0–250 m) to constrain changes in production of subtropical underwater in the Atlantic Ocean. This framework is significant because the proxy approach is necessary to supplement the short and coarse time series being used to constrain variability in the formation of Caribbean subtropical underwater, the return flow of a shallow circulation cell responsible for nearly 10% of the heat transported poleward in the N. Atlantic.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, v. 259, issue 1, p. 474-478