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Compound-specific radiocarbon dating on Antarctic sedimentary records

Duration: 8/2011 to 7/2013

Funding DFG (German Research Foundation, SPP1158)

Chronologies of Holocene sedimentary records are generally obtained from radiocarbon (14C) dating of bulk organic material. 14C ages, which are derived from bulk organic carbon however comprise a large age uncertainty, since they reflect an average 14C-age of different aged components. The aim of this project is to test 14C analysis of individual organic compounds from known source organisms in marine sediment cores, to distinguish different aged and hence different sourced organic matter in sediments as a tool to achieve more reliable core chronologies. Our study will also focus on the understanding of Holocene changes in the marine reservoir effect, one of the most important uncertainties in the interpretation of Antarctic radiocarbon dates.

The project is conducted in together with the Organic Geochemistry / Radiocarbon Dating working group (Prof. Dr. J. Rethemeyer).