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Abstract

The marine reservoir effect is the difference in radiocarbon ( ¹⁴ C) between the atmosphere and the marine surface ocean. To overcome the dating errors induced, it is necessary to correct marine ¹⁴ C ages for this effect. ΔR is the difference between the marine ¹⁴ C age and the marine calibration curve based on an ocean-atmosphere box diffusion model, which accounts for the time delay in diffusion of carbon into the ocean from the atmosphere and biosphere. This global assessment, however, requires computation of a regional ∆R value for calibration to cater for studies based on a local scale. In this paper the marine reservoir effect is assessed for the southern and eastern coasts of South Africa using ¹⁴ C dating on pre-1950 marine shells of known age. The resultant ∆R values enable a more complete understanding of the marine reservoir effect along the southern and eastern coastal zone of South Africa. ¹⁴ C age determinations were conducted on 15 shell samples of known age and the results, combined with previously published values, were used to calculate regional marine reservoir correction values. The east coast has a weighted mean ∆R of 121±16 ¹⁴ C yr, while the south coast has a weighted mean ∆R of 187±18 ¹⁴ C yr.

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... The cleaning procedures as well as the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry measurements were carried out in the Pozna n Radiocarbon Laboratory, Poland. The modelled ocean average curve (Marine13) and a local marine DR of 121 ± 16 1 ⁴C yr (Maboya et al., 2017) were applied to calibrate the radiocarbon ages. The first occurrence of maize (Zea mays) pollen at 123 cm core depth is considered as an additional age marker as maize cultivation in southern Africa started since~300 cal yr BP (e.g., Miracle 1965, see discussion in Neumann et al., 2008). ...
... Table 1 AMS radiocarbon analyses of material from core GeoB20616-1. The modelled ocean average curve (Marine13) was used for calibration and a local DR of 121 ± 16 1 ⁴C yr (Maboya et al., 2017) was applied. The ages were calibrated with Calib 7.1 software (Stuiver et al., 2019 ...
Article
Mpondoland on the South African east coast is a particularly dynamic region in terms of climate change as it is influenced by both temperate and tropical circulation and climate systems. We present a sediment record that indicates regional climatic change and anthropogenic influence during the last ~5500 yr. Catchment data allow an understanding of signal transmission from the catchment to the site of the marine core. Plant-wax isotope distributions and elemental composition, as well as palynological, burned phytolith and micro-charcoal data, are used to infer paleoclimatic shifts and reconstruct past human activity. Whereas previous studies have often disregarded early anthropogenic drivers of environmental change, our study provides palynological evidence of human impacts and geochemical evidence of increased erosion starting as early as ~1500 years ago. Downcore proxy analysis suggests that particularly humid conditions persisted from ~900 to ~300 cal yr BP, encompassing both the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age. We suggest that humidity during the Medieval Climate Anomaly was sourced from a poleward shift of the Southern Hemispheric Westerlies and the South African high�pressure cell, allowing for the southward expansion of the Southern Indian Ocean Convergence Zone. During the Little Ice Age, the equatorward movement of the Southern Hemispheric Westerlies probably brought increased rainfall to areas that are normally beyond the northern limit of the Southern Hemi�spheric Westerlies. Comparison of our record to available regional archives of centennial-scale late Holocene climate variability in South Africa demonstrates that Mpondoland is located at a transition zone of tropical and sub-tropical climatic influences.
... Calibration into calendar ages was made using Calib8.2 software (Stuiver et al., 2018) and the marine calibration curve Ma-rine20 (Heaton et al., 2020) and a ΔR = 45 SD = 85 (Maboya et al., 2018;Southon et al., 2002) for reservoir age. Linear accumulation rates (LAR) were calculated by linear interpolation between dated depths. ...
Article
The pattern of sediment dispersal and the location of sediment depocentres on continental margins can be very complex in both space and time. We aim at investigating how significantly external and internal factors, such as river runoff, bottom current and sliding can deviate the sediment dispersal from a simplistic fully sea-level controlled spreading. In this study we examined the sedimentation at two transects across the Mozambique-Zambezi slope between 17°20S-20°S, where multibeam bathymetry, sub-bottom profiler data and sediment cores were acquired. The period investigated spans the last 40 cal ka BP with a focus on the contrast between the last glacial (lowstand) and the Holocene (highstand) periods. Results show contrasting patterns of sediment dispersal, deposition and preservation. Sea level fluctuation remains the main forcing and most of the sediment from the Zambezi River settled on the inner shelf since the last sea level rise. However, we found that two major depocentres have developed on the upper slope during the Holocene consequent to the interaction of bottom currents with seabed morphologies at the shelf edge and at the upper slope. Early Holocene sliding in the north-east and in the south-west upper slope is a secondary but yet major factor of sediment transfer to the deep domain. Identified preconditioning factors for sliding on the slope are related to lowstand sediment loading and fluid circulation on the upper slope, and erosion at the base of slope of a plastered drift. Triggering must be related to margin wide mechanisms such as changes in hydrostatic pressure and reorganisation of sediment dispersal, subsequent to the post-glacial sea level rise, or maybe a period of regional seismicity. Climatic conditions in the Zambezi River watershed during the Bolling-Allerod and Younger Dryas periods are recorded and imprinted on the upper slope in the form of a detrital rich layer and a prominent slope-wide high-amplitude reflector. All over the continental slope, plastering of sediment deposits by bottom currents is pervasive and shows a morphological continuum from erosional scours at the base of slope to sediment waves on the upper slope and a possible interaction between along and across slope transport processes. We conclude that, in addition to sea level, the interplay of external and internal factors such as oceanic circulation and sliding, together with margin morphology, lead to the development of unexpected depocentres on the continental slopes. Thus, the study of modern marine analogues is crucial to avoid misleading interpretation of fossil deposits in terms of paleo sea level and more generally of paleo-environmental conditions.
... All dates are corrected for reservoir effect with a ΔR of 121 ± 16 14 C yr (ref. 68 ). The dates discussed in this manuscript are median values; the two sigma ranges are indicated in Supplementary Table 1. ...
Article
Full-text available
Geological evidence of past storminess is fundamental for contextualizing long-term climate variability and investigating future climate. Unlike the Atlantic and Pacific basins, robust storminess reconstructions do not exist for most of the Indian Ocean, despite the hazard that tropical cyclones pose to the SE African margin. Here we combine seismic stratigraphy with analysis of marine sediment cores to look for regionally representative storm-related sediment deposits (tempestites) intercalated in shoreface sediments from the SW Indian Ocean off South Africa. Tempestites, represented by hummocky seismic units, whose sediments have clear marine geochemical signatures, are found to have been deposited between 7.0 and 4.8 cal kyr BP, when sea level was between 0 and +3 m above present. Deposition and preservation of the tempestites reflect unprecedented tropical cyclone impacts, associated with periods of strongly positive Indian Ocean Dipole anomalies and linked to warmer sea surface temperatures. Future climate projections suggest stronger positive IOD anomalies and further intensification and poleward migration of tropical cyclones, like their mid-Holocene predecessors. Given the rarity of tropical cyclone landfalls in South Africa, this urges a revaluation of hazards in areas along the SE African coast likely to become more vulnerable to landfalling tropical cyclones in the future.
... For estuarine lakes and wetlands in a coastal setting, the marine reservoir effect becomes important. Recent advances in constraining the marine reservoir correction for the southern and eastern coastlines of South Africa are a welcome development (Maboya et al., 2018;Wundsch et al., 2018). For more recent sedimentary sequences, short lived radioisotopes 210 Pb and 137 Cs can been applied to determine sediment accumulation rates over the past ca. ...
Article
This paper aims to identify chronostratigraphic palaeo-climatic boundaries based on proxy indications from mountain- and coastal wetlands in eastern South Africa and Lesotho. Phase boundaries were identified from timing of climate change inferred by proxies, as well as regime shifts in climate variability. Sometimes magnitude and/or frequency of change was also considered. Summarizing the common palaeo-climatic indications suggest the following chronostratigraphic climate phases: 25 to 18 ka, 18 to 15 ka, 15 to 11.5, 11.5 to 8 ka, 8 to 5.5 ka, 5.5 to 2 ka and 2 to 0 ka. The most robust boundaries were identified at 18 ka, 15 ka and 2 ka, i.e. these boundaries were supported by several proxies/sites. The other boundaries were less clearly detected from available proxies/sites and should be regarded tentative. The timing of a climate shift often coincides at coast and mountain sites. However, the climate conditions within each chronostratigraphic phase sometimes vary between coast and inland sites. The 25 to 18 ka phase was cool and dry with strong and frequent storms, followed by the ca. 18 to 15 ka period when conditions were less severe but still generally cool and dry. At ca. 15 to 11.5 ka several proxies infer warmer climate, with less winter rains. During 11.5 to 8 ka a general increase in wetness is inferred, followed by warming over the 8 to 5.5 ka phase. Between 5.5 and 2 ka a successive change towards wetter is indicated, although timing differ between sites. After 2 ka generally a more variable climate is seen, often with high magnitude shifts between dry and wet. The data resolution, i.e. the number of available wetland records, increases with time from very low during glacial times, to highest resolution during late Holocene. Geographically, sites in the mountain region are overrepresented compared to coastal sites. A comparison with coastal lake records suggests a more variable climate at coastal sites compared to mountain sites during mid- and late Holocene, although different proxy resolution and methodology cannot be ruled out as an explanation. A case study compares multiproxy records from Drakensberg (Sekhokong, Ntsikeni) and the coast (Mfabeni), discussing advantages and problems associated with proxy-comparisons within and between sites.
... All samples were calibrated using the marine20.14c model (Heaton et al., 2020), with a reservoir effect of 716 ±26 years (Maboya et al., 2018). ...
Article
Richards Bay is part of a back-barrier lagoon fronted by high coastal dunes on the NE, Indian Ocean coast of South Africa. In the early 1970s, a berm was constructed, dividing the original Mhlathuze Estuary into two separate systems; the Richards Bay Harbour and the new Mhlathuze Estuary. This study investigates the stratigraphic evolution of the incised valley system and bayhead delta in the Richards Bay Harbour segment. Seven seismic units (Units 1 ̶ 7) were imaged. A single regionally developed sequence boundary (SB) along with two tidal ravinement surfaces (tRS1 and tRS2) were identified. Surface SB is associated with the LGM lowstand which developed when sea levels were ~ 130 m below present, until ~18,000 year BP. Cretaceous age siltstones (Unit 1) form the basement. Transgressive material overlying SB (Unit 2) reflects the filling of an incised valley located in the middle segment of a wave-dominated back-barrier system. It is overlain by a bayhead delta (Unit 3), the geometry and seismic signature of which indicate alternating periods of aggradation/progradation and backstepping. The behaviour is attributed to episodic jumps in sea level, and is tentatively (on the basis of elevations in relation to the regional sea-level curve) linked to periods of rapidly rising sea level (8.2 ka event and Meltwater Pulse (MWP)-1d). These intervals of rapidly rising sea level, combined with relatively low gradient settings facilitated backstepping of the delta. Fills (Unit 4) occur within minor incisions along the delta top. These are interpreted as distributary channels that fed sediment to the seaward edge of the bayhead delta system. Elongated mounds on the seafloor (Unit 5) are interpreted as spoil from contemporary port dredging. Slump deposits (Unit 6) along the delta front are attributed to a combination of oversteepening of the delta by dredging, as well as deposition of modern sediments brought into the system by tidal currents. The system is capped by fine-grained, tidally redistributed and deposited sediments (Unit 7) which were possibly sourced from older organic material of an indeterminate source. This site is especially sensitive to episodic rates of sea level change due to the relatively small Glacial Isostatic Adjustments (GIA) during the postglacial transgression and the flat antecedent gradients of both the subaerial unconformity and the overlying tidal ravinement.
... calibration model (Reimer et al., 2013). For marine material a reservoir age of 121 ± 16 14C years was applied (Maboya et al., 2018). Terrestrial organic material was calibrated according to the SHcal13 atmospheric curve of Hogg et al. (2013). ...
Article
In the context of rising sea levels, wave dominated coasts and deltas are among the most threatened of coastal landforms. The study of submerged deltas, in tandem with other drowned wave-dominated shoreline sequences, can shed light on the long-term coastal behaviour of these threatened shorelines when subject to high-end scenarios of relative sea-level rise. Using ultra high-resolution seismic reflection data and gravity core samples, this paper investigates the post-glacial stratigraphic development and architecture of the shelf off southern Mozambique. We document several well-preserved beachrock/aeolianite palaeo-shoreline complexes from water depths of −100, −75 and −60 m, interpreted as representing the positions of former sea-level slowstands or stillstands. These overlie the regional subaerial unconformity associated with the last glacial maximum and are linked to two phases of deltaic deposition. Pro-deltaic deposits on the outer shelf were linked with the period of sea-level stability attributed to the −100 m shoreline, while proximal delta front deposits on the inner- to mid-shelf are linked to a slowstand evident in the local sea level record at −40 m. Well-developed lower delta plain facies overlie both shoreline and delta front facies and show evidence of strong channelisation during normal regression of the delta. These are overlain across the shelf by isolated and stranded pieces of the now relict shoreface, trapped to seaward by the shoreline complexes. The more proximal parts of the shelf are in turn overlain by fluvial-derived muddy facies of the current prodeltas of the area. The preservation of shoreline and delta deposits was enhanced by intervening rapid increments in sea-level rise associated with meltwater pulses 1A (−100 m) and 1B,(−60 m) though the preservation of the −75 shoreline feature, in spite of modest rates of Older Dryas base-level change, points toward other factors such as rapid cementation as dominant in this instance. The region's high sediment supply exerted a primary control on shelf preservation by dampening the erosive extent of wave-ravinement. Variations in antecedent gradient are responsible for much of the documented along-shelf and down-dip depositional variability: low-gradient settings promoted the development of broad coastal plains and strongly wave-dominated deltaic facies, while steeper areas of the shelf favoured the development of coastal landforms in relatively narrow complexes fronted by deep-water deltaic deposits. Steeper areas of the shelf also tend be characterised by an embayed along-coast profile that locally mitigates wave-energy, reinforcing the influence of inherited gradient. Once preserved, drowned coastal barriers introduced an additional geological control as post-glacial sediment became trapped between these features on the outer shelf. The dispersal of modern sediments is strongly influenced by the hydrodynamic regime Delagoa Bight, under which fluvial muds are transported northeastward along the shelf by a persistent inner-mid shelf counter-current. A considerable proportion of the modern sediment budget is lost off-shelf where the shelf narrows. This study shows that low antecedent gradients foster gentle coastal profiles predisposed to delta overstepping. Though local topographic knickpoints can aid in preserving the delta during submergence, they do not buffer the delta from the general effects of inundation which include the delta top. Once overstepped, the former delta can be overlain by distal deltaic sediments associated with the higher sea level and associated fluvial and oceanographic forcing quite different from earlier phases of delta construction.
... The ages are calibrated using OXCAL (Bronk Ramsey, 2016) and Marine 13 e Modelled ocean average calibration curve (Reimer et al., 2013). A reservoir age of 121 ± 16 14 C years (Maboya et al., 2017) was applied. The age model is based on the median age estimation ( Supplementary Fig. 2), and indicates that the core spans the last 6.9 cal ka BP. ...
... Organic material was extracted from the grab samples for dating (a bivalve from MB15 and a coral fragment from MB91). For marine samples the Marine13 e calibration curve was used with a local reservoir age of 187 ± 18 1 ⁴ C yrs calculated for the South African South Coast by Maboya et al. (2018). For terrestrial samples, the SHCal13 calibration curve was applied (Table 1). ...
Article
The inner to mid continental shelf of the Agulhas Bank, which forms part of the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain, is scattered with Pleistocene deposits. Their wide lateral extension is the expression of a flat underlying substrate, availability of accommodation space, and depositional processes in response to glacio-eustatic sea-level change. We present seismic sub-bottom profiles up to 30 m deep, sediment cores up to 5 m in length and Pleistocene deposits that date back to Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 7 from the inner to mid shelf between the Breede River in the West and Plettenberg Bay in the East. Radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dates are integrated with microfossil analysis into a seismic stratigraphic model comprised of twenty Quaternary facies units within two depositional sequences bounded by shelf-wide unconformities. Sequence Boundary 1 (SB1) corresponds to the erosional unconformity with bedrock and SB2 to the MIS 2 glacial lowstand. Incised palaeo-river channels are associated with both sequence boundaries and cored deposits also mapped seismically from estuarine, lacustrine and fluvial systems are grouped to represent the lower floodplain. The most pervasive stratigraphic pattern in these shelf deposits is made up of the depositional sequence remnant of the Falling Stage Systems Tract (FSST) forced regression from MIS 5e–2. The other dominant stratigraphic group is the Transgressive Systems Tract (TST) associated with the Post-glacial Marine Transgression. The TST makes up an almost equal proportion of deposits in both sequences in the sedimentological record as the FSST, despite the shorter temporal span of the TST. A Wave Ravinement Surface marks the rise in sea level from the Last Glacial Maximum in a landward direction.
... calibration model (Reimer et al., 2013). The marine ΔR is assumed to be 121 ± 16 14 C yr (Maboya et al., 2017). Despite there being 4 m worth of core material, only one intact bivalve was discovered. ...
Article
Shorelines respond to rising sea-level through processes such as erosion, landward migration and in-situ drowning (i.e. overstepping). Submerged and preserved shorelines on the continental shelf play a key role in examining coastal response to rising sea levels as they provide important information on how modern shorelines may evolve in time and space within the context of changing climate and post-glacial sea-level rise. This study identifies and assesses the response of a continental shelf to stepped rises in sea level with particular focus on the stepwise evolution of incised valleys and shorelines from the shelf-edge to the inner shelf. Multibeam bathymetry from the mid-outer allows for the analysis of seafloor morphology, including the Protea Banks Reef (a palaeo-shoreline complex), and the adjacent incised, sediment starved continental shelf. Six seismic units and intervening surfaces are identified using interpretations from sub-bottom profiles, these include the incised acoustic basement, variable incised valley fill successions, aeolianite ridges and post-transgressive shoreface and associated sediments that withstood wave ravinement processes. The incised valleys of the outer-shelf are manifested as distinctive seafloor depressions, filled at their bases by fluvial deposits overlain, in the unfilled valley, by deposits derived from cascading subaqueous dunes which comprise the upper-most post-transgressive sediments. A core intersecting the dune material yields a maximum age of deposition of 1191–1263 cal yr BP (68% range), synchronous with a period of higher than present sea-levels in the region suggesting reworking and redistribution of coastal sediment as shelf sediment post-transgression. During the stepped rises in sea level, the shoreface has disconnected from the contemporary shoreline and is preserved by means of topographic barriers formed by antecedent topography as relict shoreface deposits. We provide a new perspective of shoreline response to stepped rises in sea level by integrating the seismic architecture of incised valley fills and shorelines across the continental shelf thus allowing for the assessment of variation in rates of relative sea-level rise since the last glacial maximum.
... Organic material was extracted from the grab samples for dating (a bivalve from MB15 and a coral fragment from MB91). For marine samples the Marine13 e calibration curve was used with a local reservoir age of 187 ± 18 1 ⁴ C yrs calculated for the South African South Coast by Maboya et al. (2018). For terrestrial samples, the SHCal13 calibration curve was applied (Table 1). ...
Preprint
The continental shelf of the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain (PAP) is scattered with Pleistocene deposits with subdued topography. Their exaggerated lateral extension is the expression of a flat underlying substrate and availability of accommodation space, depositional processes and response to glacio-eustatic sea-level change have influenced deposition and distribution of these units. We present new results for the upper ~30 m (up to ~200 ka) of the stratigraphic record in this area and show that this shelf offers the opportunity to examine the response of a stable tectonic setting to the effects of sea-level change. This paper presents the results of extensive sub-bottom profiling surveys and chronostratigraphic investigations from marine sediment vibracores. Radiocarbon and Optically stimulated Luminescence dates are integrated into a seismic stratigraphic model composed of twenty Quaternary units, where two depositional sequences are bounded by shelf-wide unconformities. The upper sequence was cored where Pleistocene deposits were observed to be close to the seafloor and are draped in a thin veneer of marine shelf sediment and allow us to describe the environments of deposition of the PAP. The most pervasive stratigraphic pattern in these shelf deposits is made up of the depositional sequence remnant of the Falling Stage Systems Tract (FSST) forced regression from Marine Isotope Stage 5e–2. The other dominant stratigraphic group is the Transgressive Systems Tract (TST) associated with the Postglacial Marine Transgression. Surprisingly, the TST makes up an almost equal proportion of deposits in both sequences in the sedimentological record as the FSST, despite the shorter temporal span of the TST. The sub-bottom profiles were acquired on regional surveys extending from the Breede River in the west to Plettenberg Bay in the east, and to a maximum depth of 110 m below Mean Sea Level, with the exception of one ~200 m deep shelf-edge profile.
... The measurements were carried out by the Poznán Radiocarbon Laboratory, Poland. The modelled ocean average curve (Ma-rine13) (Reimer et al., 2013) was used for calibration and a local ΔR of 121 ± 16 14 C years (Maboya et al., 2017) was applied. The ages were calibrated with Calib 7.1 software (Stuiver et al., 2017). ...
Article
The discrimination of sediment provenance from specific source regions is a crucial prerequisite for the paleoclimatic interpretation of terrigenous sediment archives. The terrigenous material in sediments on the Delagoa Bight near Maputo, Mozambique, has several potential source areas including the Limpopo, Incomati, Matola, and Lusutfu river catchments. While the last three represent a coastal region bordered to the west by the Drakensberg mountains, the Limpopo catchment is much larger and reaches farther into the center of the continent. Due to local current patterns, the sedimentation in the Delagoa Bight is very complex. This may be the reason why previous studies in this area interpreted the origin of sediment bodies only on the basis of seismic profiles. Analytical investigations to the question where which material was/is deposited in the Delagoa Bight, especially the suspension load from the Limpopo River, do not exist. In this study, end-members for the four river catchments were determined based on a selection of aluminium-normalized trace element concentrations in river sediment samples. Relative end-member contribution to core top samples from the shelf, partitioned using a constrained least squares model, and age data of marine surface sediments, indicate a very effective eastward sediment drift, caused by local cyclonic circulation. This strong lee circulation (the Delagoa Bight Eddy) may have meant that hardly any material has been deposited in the eastern and central parts of the bight for ~1000 years. In addition, our results confirm previous studies showing that the majority of Limpopo sediments are dumped onto the eastern flank of the Inharrime Terrace from where material is probably drifted further south under the influence of the Agulhas Current.
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The purpose of this study is to differentiate and characterise contouritic sands in two different locations with variable sediment compositions (siliciclastic and bioclastic) based on a multiproxy approach that includes the analysis of sedimentary texture, semi-quantitative geochemistry, microfacies and ichnological information, as well as a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) applied to geochemical and sedimentary data on sediment cores. The integration of sedimentological analyses and the PCA permits also to the differentiation between fine-grained deep-water deposits such as hemipelagites, muddy contourites and hyperpycnites. A depositional model is proposed here, based on geochemical and sedimentological characteristics of the Holocene-highstand Mozambique Channel upper slope sands, and glacial-lowstand Corsica Contourite Depositional System middle slope sands. The upper continental slope of the Mozambican margin is characterised by siliciclastic sandy contourites, muddy contourites and muddy hyperpycnites. Mozambique siliciclastic sandy contourites constitute large accumulations of well-sorted very fine to coarse sand with evidences of strong winnowing and reworking under high-energy conditions. The sedimentary facies represents highstand contourite sands and shows a reversely-graded trend. The contourite drift on the Pianosa ridge (eastern flank of the Corsica Trough) consists of bioclastic sandy and muddy contourites and hemipelagites. Bioclastic sandy contourites are made up of shallow-marine winnowed bioclasts with a reversely- and normally-graded trend and represent lowstand contourite sands. The PCA in the two environments —showing a distinctive geochemical signal— allows for differentiation of the contourite deposits. In siliciclastic sands, reworking is marked by an accumulation of Si, Zr, and Sr in fine- to medium-grained sands. In bioclastic sands, reworking is less evident but it is characterised by accumulations of Ca and Sr. The reworking and winnowing bottom current effects are also observed at the microfacies scale. Both types of contourite deposits show evidences of intermittent depositional conditions depending on the ichnodiversity, distribution and abundance of trace fossils. This work is useful to discriminate similar fine-grained deposits in different continental margins which would contribute to a better understanding of sedimentary deposits and processes in deep-marine environments.
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Although evidence of organic materials has consistently been reported in the archaeology of southern Africa little attention has been given to how this evidence, so slight in comparison to pottery and lithics, might be used to understand the transition from foraging to livestock-keeping in southern African Archaeology. We have compiled a geo-referenced, radiocarbon database of these organic, material culture remains, with particular reference to containers made of ostrich eggshell, wood, gourd, tortoise shell, twine, and leather over a 2300-year period to capture the periods before and after the appearance of livestock. We have mapped the organic materials for the period 800 cal BC to cal AD 1500 and explored the subsistence base of those who used them. This distribution is compared to that of pottery and livestock remains–conventionally the two archaeological markers of pastoralists. The paper interrogates what this might add to the vexed question of how the practice of livestock-keeping and pottery-making spread into and through the region (the hunter-herder debate). Our analysis suggests that ostrich eggshell containers can be used as a proxy for hunter-gatherers. By comparing areas of bead manufacture with those that have evidence only of bead use, we show the areas to which items may have travelled, along already established hunter-gatherer exchange networks. Our results suggest that hunter-gatherers widely and quickly adopted pottery across southern Africa in a process of cultural diffusion and local innovation, and that this was possibly the main mechanism for the dispersal of livestock at 2100 years ago.
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This paper investigates the interplay between allocyclic controls and antecedent topography in the evolution of submerged coastal landforms, including a back-stepped delta. Using high-resolution tools, we examine the wave-dominated Thukela shelf, and define the major seismic units. Key features identified comprise incised valleys scoured into bedrock, that have overspilled to form lagoons at depths of 50 m. These are in turn overlain by two prograding and backstepped sandy delta systems at 40 m and 32 m depth respectively. The deltas interfinger with muddy prodelta deposits and are truncated by the Holocene ravinement, overlain by the contemporary prodelta of the Thukela River system. A bedrock high separates two physically separate strato-morphological zones; landward a sediment stripped, steep and shallow nearshore zone, and seaward a gentle zone downdip where the deltaic accumulations are sited. Delta development was favoured during sea-level stillstands at −40 m and −32 m respectively. The step-back of the deltas corresponds to sharp increases in the rate of sea-level rise associated with meltwater pulses. The overall gentle palaeo-bathymetric gradient has moderated erosion associated with rising sea level, preserving a sandy back-stepping delta and a draping mud clinoform. Submerged delta positioning relates to underlying incised valleys, suggesting a synchronous transgressive evolution of the drainage and the delta. Incised valley network positioning is further governed by Late Pliocene aged growth-faults in the basement rocks. The geological framework has acted as a recurring primary control to the geomorphic evolution of the area, partitioning accommodation for sediment accumulation and moderating the efficiency of ravinement.
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The continental shelf of the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain (PAP) is scattered with Pleistocene deposits with subdued topography. Their exaggerated lateral extension is the expression of a flat underlying substrate and availability of accommodation space, depositional processes and response to glacio-eustatic sea-level change have influenced deposition and distribution of these units. We present new results for the upper ~30 m (up to ~200 ka) of the stratigraphic record in this area and show that this shelf offers the opportunity to examine the response of a stable tectonic setting to the effects of sea-level change. This paper presents the results of extensive sub-bottom profiling surveys and chronostratigraphic investigations from marine sediment vibracores. Radiocarbon and Optically stimulated Luminescence dates are integrated into a seismic stratigraphic model composed of twenty Quaternary units, where two depositional sequences are bounded by shelf-wide unconformities. The upper sequence was cored where Pleistocene deposits were observed to be close to the seafloor and are draped in a thin veneer of marine shelf sediment and allow us to describe the environments of deposition of the PAP. The most pervasive stratigraphic pattern in these shelf deposits is made up of the depositional sequence remnant of the Falling Stage Systems Tract (FSST) forced regression from Marine Isotope Stage 5e–2. The other dominant stratigraphic group is the Transgressive Systems Tract (TST) associated with the Postglacial Marine Transgression. Surprisingly, the TST makes up an almost equal proportion of deposits in both sequences in the sedimentological record as the FSST, despite the shorter temporal span of the TST. The sub-bottom profiles were acquired on regional surveys extending from the Breede River in the west to Plettenberg Bay in the east, and to a maximum depth of 110 m below Mean Sea Level, with the exception of one ~200 m deep shelf-edge profile.
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We present a brief discussion of sample preparation procedures at the Keck Carbon Cycle Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (KCCAMS), University of California, Irvine, and a systematic investigation of the use of Mg(ClO4)2 as an absorptive water trap, replacing the standard dry ice/ethanol cold finger in graphite sample preparation. We compare high-precision AMS measurement results from oxalic acid I and USGS coal samples using Mg(ClO4)2 under different conditions. The results obtained were also compared with those achieved using the conventional water removal technique. Final results demonstrate that the use of Mg(ClO4)2 as an alternative water trap seems very convenient and reliable, provided the Mg(ClO4)2 is replaced frequently.
Article
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In order to calibrate radiocarbon ages based on samples with a marine carbon component it is important to know the marine carbon reservoir correction or ΔR value. This study measured the ΔR on both known-age pre-bomb marine shells and paired marine and terrestrial samples from two regions on the west coast of South Africa: the southwestern Cape and Namaqualand. Pooling the data by region produces ΔR values that are similar enough to use a west coast weighted mean ΔR of 146 ± 85 14C years to correctly calibrate marine shell or mixed marine and terrestrial 14C ages. There are however temporal differences in ΔR throughout the Holocene, which we compare with proxy data for upwelling and sea surface temperatures.
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The IntCal09 and Marine09 radiocarbon calibration curves have been revised utilizing newly available and updated data sets from 14C measurements on tree rings, plant macrofossils, speleothems, corals, and foraminifera. The calibration curves were derived from the data using the random walk model (RWM) used to generate IntCal09 and Marine09, which has been revised to account for additional uncertainties and error structures. The new curves were ratified at the 21st International Radiocarbon conference in July 2012 and are available as Supplemental Material at www.radiocarbon.org. The database can be accessed at http://intcal.qub.ac.uk/intcal13/. © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.
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Four Antarctic marine mollusc shells, which were collected alive between 1917 and 1940, were analyzed by accelerator mass spectrometry to provide the first pre-bomb radiocarbon measurements of biogenic carbonates from the Southern Ocean. After correcting for the impact of fossil fuel combustion (Suess Effect), radiocarbon activities of the pre-bomb shells averaged -149.8+/-10.40/00. In contrast, the Delta14C values for post-bomb molluscs, echinoderms, brachiopods and foraminifera averaged -96.1+/-25.20/00. These biogenic carbonate Delta14C values are nearly identical to pre-bomb estimates (-1480/00 to -1520/00) and post-bomb measurements (-98.4+/-22.00/00) of the surface waters in the Southern Ocean. Average radiocarbon ages of the biogenic carbonates before and after 1950 (1303+/-84 years and 811+/-205 years, respectively), along with those from seals and penguins, indicate that the Antarctic marine radiocarbon reservoir has decreased in age by nearly 500 years during the second half of the 20th century. Marine species and seawater measurements firmly place the radiocarbon reservoir correction at 1300+/-100 years for calcareous marine fossils which are widespread, abundant and well-preserved organic materials for interpreting ice-sheet, climate and sea level impacts on the Antarctic marine ecosystem during the Holocene.
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Calibration is essential for interpretation of radiocarbon dates, especially when the 14C dates are compared to historical or climatic records with a different chronological basis. 14C ages of samples from the marine environment, such as shells or fish bones, or samples with a marine component, such as human bone in coastal regions, require an additional con- sideration because of the reservoir age of the ocean. While the pre-industrial global mean reservoir correction, R(t), is about 400 years, local variations ( ∆ R) can be several hundred years or more. ∆ R compilations on a global scale have been under- taken previously (Stuiver et al. 1986; Stuiver and Braziunas 1993), but have not been updated recently. Here we describe an on-line reservoir correction database accessed via mapping software. Rather than publishing a static ∆ R compilation, new data will be incorporated when it becomes available. The on-line marine reservoir correction database can be accessed at the website http://www.calib.org/.
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Calculations are made of the changes in the structure of an inertial current which can be induced by slow changes in the topography of the continental shelf and slope along which it flows. The particular case of a uniform potential vorticity current over a shelf of uniform slope shows that smooth transitions from subcritical to supercritical flow can occur at a minimum in the shelf width. Long-wave disturbances travel away from such a point. Upstream there is a tendency for a countercurrent to occur at the coast, while downstream there is a tendency for cold water to outcrop on the inshore side of a front. Both these features occur along the path of the Agulhas Current. A method developed for calculating the speed of long-wave disturbances in a flow with a given potential vorticity distribution is applied to sections of the Agulhas Current about 150 km apart. In this distance the shelf width is reduced, and a calculation using a current model with two active layers shows the second mode is very c...
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Seafloor bathymetric data acquired with modern swath echo sounders provide coverage for only a small fraction of the global seabed yet are of high value for studies of the dynamic processes of seafloor volcanism, tectonics, mass wasting, and sediment transport that create and shape the undersea landscape. A new method for compilation of global seafloor bathymetry that preserves the native resolution of swath sonars is presented. The Global Multi-Resolution Topography synthesis consists of a hierarchy of tiles with digital elevations and shaded relief imagery spanning nine magnification doublings from pole to pole (http://www.marine-geo.org/portals/gmrt). The compilation is updated and accessible as surveys are contributed, edited, and added to the tiles. Access to the bathymetry tiles is via Web services and with WMS-enabled client applications such as GeoMapApp®, Virtual Ocean, NASA World Wind®, and Google Earth®.
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We have measured radiocarbon in prebomb known-age shells and coral from the Indian Ocean and southeast Asia to determine marine reservoir age corrections. Western Indian Ocean results show a strong 14C depletion due to upwelling in the Arabian Sea, and indicate that this signal is advected over a wide area to the east and south. In contrast, th e surface waters of the South China Sea contain relatively high levels of 14C, due in part to the input of well-equilibrated water masses from the western Pacific. The easternmost regions of the Indian Ocean are also strongly influenced by the flowthrough of Pacific waters north of Australia.
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Radiocarbon measurements of nine known age shells from the Mediterranean and the Aegean Seas combined with previous measurements provide an updated value for ∆ R, the local variation in the reservoir correction for marine sam- ples. Comparison of pre-1950s samples from the Algerian coast, with one collected in 1954, indicates early incorporation of nuclear weapons testing 14C into the shallow surface waters of the Mediterranean. Comparisons between different basins indi- cate the surface waters of the Mediterranean are relatively homogenous. The recommended ∆ R for calibration of the Medi- terranean marine samples with the 1998 marine calibration dataset is 58 ± 85 14C yr, but variations in the reservoir age beyond 6000 cal BP should be considered.
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<sup>14</sup>C age measurements made on samples from three archaeological sites located on North Atlantic coasts were used to investigate the marine reservoir effect (MRE) at c. AD 1000. This is an important period within human cultural and palaeoenvironmental research as it is a time when Norse expansion to the North Atlantic islands occurred, during what appears to be a period of ameliorating climatic conditions. This makes improved chronological precision and accuracy at this time highly desirable. The data indicate a potential latitudinal variation in MRE at c. AD 1000 from a ΔR of-142±16 <sup>14</sup>C yr at Omey Island (53° 32' N) to 64±13 <sup>14</sup>C yr at Undir Junkarinsfløtti (61° 51' N). The results are compared with modern assessments of MRE values within the context of oceanographic and climatic regimes that provide a possible driving mechanism for spatial and temporal variation in MRE.
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The marine radiocarbon reservoir effect is an offset in 14C age between contemporaneous organisms from the terrestrial environment and organisms that derive their carbon from the marine environment. Quantification of this effect is of crucial importance for correct calibration of the <sup>14</sup>C ages of marine-influenced samples to the calendrical timescale. This is fundamental to the construction of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental chronologies when such samples are employed in <sup>14</sup>C analysis. Quantitative measurements of temporal variations in regional marine reservoir ages also have the potential to be used as a measure of process changes within Earth surface systems, due to their link with climatic and oceanic changes. The various approaches to quantification of the marine radiocarbon reservoir effect are assessed, focusing particularly on the North Atlantic Ocean. Currently, the global average marine reservoir age of surface waters, R(t), is c. 400 radiocarbon years; however, regional values deviate from this as a function of climate and oceanic circulation systems. These local deviations from R(t) are expressed as +R values. Hence, polar waters exhibit greater reservoir ages (δR = c. +400 to +800 <sup>14</sup>C y) than equatorial waters (δR = c. 0 <sup>14</sup>C y). Observed temporal variations in δR appear to reflect climatic and oceanographic changes. We assess three approaches to quantification of marine reservoir effects using known age samples (from museum collections), tephra isochrones (present onshore/offshore) and paired marine/terrestrial samples (from the same context in, for example, archaeological sites). The strengths and limitations of these approaches are evaluated using examples from the North Atlantic region. It is proposed that, with a suitable protocol, accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurements on paired, short-lived, single entity marine and terrestrial samples from archaeological deposits is the most promising approach to constraining changes over at least the last 5 ky BP.
Article
A 30.5 m sediment core was recovered from the coastal lake Eilandvlei (EV13), which represents a unique high-resolution record of environmental change for southern Africa. For the establishment of a robust chronology, special emphasis was placed on the calibration of radiocarbon (¹⁴C) ages obtained from the dating of different material. However, the reliability of ¹⁴C ages can be problematic since coastal lakes interact with different source pools providing ¹⁴C-depleted (“old”) carbon thus causing reservoir effects. The origin of old carbon affecting the EV13 samples was most likely sourced from the Indian Ocean. Two pre-bomb marine molluscan shells were therefore analysed to determine the regional marine reservoir offset (ΔR), with obtained ΔR values of 134 ± 38 and 161 ± 38 ¹⁴C yrs providing the first available data for the south coast of South Africa. However, the application of the resulting average ΔRmean = 148 ± 27 ¹⁴C yrs for the calibration of the entire EV13 record underestimates the variable reservoir effects throughout the Holocene. These were possibly caused by past changes in the connectivity between the present lake system and the ocean as well as a varying degree of upwelling in this area. To solve this problem, three sample pairs (each consisting of wood fragments and bulk organic sediment from the same core depth) were dated to calculate the variable past reservoir effects. This approach provided a median basal age of 8920 ⁺²⁰⁰/-250 cal BP. Palaeomagnetic secular variation stratigraphy was used to corroborate the chronology for the topmost 1.5 m of the record (past millennium), thus providing the first Holocene sediment based inclination and declination data from South Africa.
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We present a brief discussion of sample preparation procedures at the Keck Carbon Cycle Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (KCCAMS), University of California, Irvine, and a systematic investigation of the use of Mg(ClO 4 ) 2 as an absorptive water trap, replacing the standard dry ice/ethanol cold finger in graphite sample preparation. We compare high-precision AMS measurement results from oxalic acid I and USGS coal samples using Mg(ClO 4 ) 2 under different conditions. The results obtained were also compared with those achieved using the conventional water removal technique. Final results demonstrate that the use of Mg(ClO 4 ) 2 as an alternative water trap seems very convenient and reliable, provided the Mg(ClO 4 ) 2 is replaced frequently.
Article
To better understand Holocene vegetation and hydrological changes in South Africa, we analyzed pollen and microcharcoal records of two marine sites GeoB8331 and GeoB8323 from the Namaqualand mudbelt offshore the west coast of South Africa covering the last 9900 and 2200 years, respectively. Our data corroborate findings from literature that climate developments apparently contrast between the summer rainfall zone (SRZ) and winter rainfall zone (WRZ) over the last 9900 years, especially during the early and middle Holocene. During the early Holocene (9900–7800 cal. yr BP), a minimum of grass pollen suggests low summer rainfall in the SRZ, and the initial presence of Renosterveld vegetation indicates relatively wet conditions in the WRZ. Toward the middle Holocene (7800–2400 cal. yr BP), a rather moist savanna/grassland rich in grasses suggests higher summer rainfall in the SRZ resulting from increased austral summer insolation and a decline of fynbos vegetation accompanied by an increasing Succulent Karoo vegetation in the WRZ, which possibly suggests a southward shift of the Southern Hemisphere westerlies. During the last 2200 years, a trend toward higher aridity was observed for the SRZ, while the climate in the WRZ remained relatively stable. The ‘Little Ice Age’ (ca. 700–200 cal. yr BP) was rather cool in both rainfall zones and drier in the SRZ while it was wetter in the WRZ.
Article
Despite the southern Cape's great climatic and botanical significance (occupying the transition between the temperate and subtropical circulation systems and forming part of a global biodiversity hotspot), palaeoenvironmental data for this region of southern Africa is limited. This study presents pollen, charcoal and sedimentological data preserved in the Vankervelsvlei wetland, situated in the modern year-round rainfall zone at the ecotone between the Fynbos and Afrotemperate Forest biomes. Combining optically stimulated luminescence and radiocarbon dating techniques, it was possible to establish a chronology for a sediment sequence spanning the last 140,000 years, the longest record yet produced in the region. The data suggest that MIS 5d was relatively warmer (low fynbos pollen percentages and Pentzia-type pollen) than later MIS 5, MIS 4 and most of MIS 3 (~96-37ka), which were characterised by decreased temperatures (dominance of ericaceous fynbos). The pollen data indicate a complex response to the change from interglacial to glacial conditions, and suggest an important threshold is crossed in regional ecological dynamics. We postulate that during MIS 5d increased summer rainfall under warmer conditions may have offset increased potential evapotranspiration, allowing for the development of more extensive forests. During its early stages of development Vankervelsvlei was more open (increased aquatics and coarse sediment), trapping more longer-distance pollen (Podocarpus). As the mire became more closed, local elements dominated; a succession that is reflected in significant changes in the pollen assemblage, as Podocarpus remains only in trace percentages, but pollen of Canthium and Morella, which occupy nearly identical climatic niches as Podocarpus, increase in abundance. It is suggested that drought stress remains limited during the last glacial period as a result of reduced temperatures, compensating for what may have been a more seasonal winter-dominated rainfall regime, and that changes in the pollen record relate to vegetation succession and the development of the wetland rather than to major changes in moisture availability. Due to the virtual absence of palaeodata from the southern Cape covering MIS 5 to MIS 3, the establishment of this record provides an important contribution to the overall palaeoenvironmental history of the region.
Article
In many regions, fluctuations have occurred through time in the local ¹⁴ C activity of seawater. Evaluating these shifts and their effects on ¹⁴ C age estimates is difficult, and, as a result, archaeologists working in coastal settings tend to preferentially date charcoal samples over shell. Our research on 18 charcoal–shell pairs from Puget Sound and Gulf of Georgia archaeological sites helps elucidate the spatial and temporal dynamics associated with marine reservoir effects in the Pacific Northwest. This analysis suggests that between 0 and 500 B.P. the regional correction value (ΔR) is 400 years, which agrees with the modern value determined by Stuiver and others. Between 500 and 1200 B.P., however, ΔR dips close to zero, possibly reflecting a decrease in offshore upwelling. From 1200 to 3000 B.P., ΔR returns to 400 years. These data are presented as a Puget Sound/Gulf of Georgia regional correction curve for the late Holocene, which local researchers may use to calibrate dates of marine shell. In addition, we detail our methods for constructing calibration curves and present guidelines for archaeologists working in other coastal settings to develop calibration curves for their regions.
Article
Temperature sections across the Agulhas Current between 28°30’s and 34°S are analysed to determine the course of the Current down the East Coast of southern Africa. The results show that, on average, the Agulhas follows the continental slope with a side-ways meandering displacement of 10-15 km on either side.
Article
The southern Cape coast, South Africa, is sensitive to climate fluctuations as it is influenced by different atmospheric and oceanic circulation systems. Palaeoecological evidence of Holocene climate variations in this region is presently limited. Here, we present a lake sediment record spanning approximately the last 670 years from Eilandvlei, a brackish coastal lake situated mid-way between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The results from geochemical and sedimentological analyses point to an increase in minerogenic sediment input from the catchment starting around ad 1400. Changes in the seasonal distribution of rainfall during the Little Ice Age may have altered river discharge and increased erosion rates and fluvial sediment transport in pre-colonial times. A rising mean lake level, possibly associated with an altered water balance or relative sea-level rise, may offer an explanation for the deposition of finer sediments. After ad 1450, reduced burial flux of elements associated with autochthonous sediment formation may have resulted from ecological changes in Eilandvlei. Enhanced sedimentation rates, increasing carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and biogenic silica concentrations, as well as high concentrations of proxies for allochthonous sediment input (e.g. aluminium, titanium, zirconium) point to increasing sediment and nutrient flux into Eilandvlei from the late nineteenth century onwards. The most likely factor involved in these recent changes is land-use change and other forms of human impact.
Article
Single-year and decadal radiocarbon tree-ring ages are tabulated and discussed in terms of 14C age calibration. The single-year data form the basis of a detailed 14C age calibration curve for the cal AD 1510-1954 interval ('cal' denotes calibrated). The Seattle decadal data set (back to 11,617 cal BP, with 0 BP = AD 1950) is a component of the integrated decadal INTCAL98 14C age curve (Stuiver et al. 1998). Atmospheric 14C ages can be transformed into 14C ages of the global ocean using a carbon reservoir model. INTCAL98 14C ages, used for these calculations, yield global ocean 14C ages differing slightly from previously published ones (Stuiver and Braziunas 1993b). We include discussions of offsets, error multipliers, regional 14C age differences and marine 14C age response to oceanic and atmospheric forcing.
Article
Calibration curves spanning several millennia are now available in this special issue of R adiocarbon . These curves, nearly all derived from the 14 C age determinations of wood samples, are to be used for the age conversion of samples that were formed through use of atmospheric CO 2 . When samples are formed in reservoirs (eg, lakes and oceans) that differ in specific 14 C content from the atmosphere, an age adjustment is needed because a conventional 14 C age, although taking into account 14 C (and 13 C) fractionation, does not correct for the difference in specific 14 C activity (Stuiver & Polach, 1977). The 14 C ages of samples grown in these environments are too old, and a reservoir age correction has to be applied. This phenomenon has been referred to as the reservoir effect (Stuiver & Polach, 1977).
Article
A number of recent studies of the UK coastal environment have assessed the 14C marine radiocarbon reservoir effect (MRE) via quantification of ΔR values for several periods throughout the Holocene using marine mollusc shells. However, none have employed fish bone as the marine sample, and the importance of being able to use this material as a reliable dating tool is evident when considering the boom in the British fish trade during the first millennium AD, the so-called ‘fish event horizon’, and the corresponding volume of fish remains that appear in the archaeological record from this time. This study compares ΔR values derived using the multiple paired sample approach employing burnt cereal grain (Hordeum sp.) as the terrestrial sample and either fish bone [North Sea cod (Gadus morhua)] or marine shell [limpet (Patella vulgata)] as the marine sample. The results show a general trend of increasing ΔR for the fish bone compared to shell, however, the differences are not statistically significant when the standard error for predicted values is used as the measure of variability in the ΔR values.
Article
This paper is the third of a series detailing the general features of 14 C distribution in the world oceans. In the preceding papers, we discussed the 14 C activities of Atlantic and Pacific Ocean waters (Stuiver and Östlund, 1980; Östlund and Stuiver, 1980). We now give an outline of the 14 C distribution of the Indian Ocean and profiles for one Mediterranean and three Red Sea stations.
Article
Apparent 14C ages of the pre-bomb molluscan shells show new estimations of ΔR values for the western Pacific including the East Sakhalin Current, Oyashio Current, Kuroshio Current, Kuroshio Countercurrent, and Pacific North Equatorial Current. Clear differences in ΔR between the subarctic and subtropical gyres water masses around the Japanese archipelago are observed.
Article
Two catalytic processes have been explored for the preparation of suitable samples for use in 14C measurements on an accelerator mass spectrometer. A heavy hydrocarbon was condensed from C2H2 using AlBr3 as a catalyst. This process had low isotopic fractionation, and the carbon ion beam obtainable was 60–70% that from graphite. In the second process, iron powder was used to produce graphite directly from CO2 and H2 at 600 °C. A sample preparation system using this reaction has been built. The carbon product produces exceptionally intense, long-lived ion beams. The process introduces little 14C background, and has no observed memory effects.
Article
The Natal Bight is an unusually wide coastal offset on South Africa's east coast along an otherwise uniformly narrow shelf. Interaction with the deep sea is limited by the strong Agulhas Current along the shelf edge. This semi-enclosed body of water has an unusual role in the local shelf ecosystem and also plays an important triggering role in major perturbations to the trajectory of the Agulhas Current. We present the results of the first dedicated research cruise that has encompassed the hydrography of the whole Bight. Water in the Bight consisted of South Indian Subtropical Surface Water and Indian Tropical Surface Water. There was only a negligible effect of river runoff. The topographically induced upwelling cell at the northern end of the Bight was characterised by lower temperatures, higher salinities, higher nutrients and higher chlorophyll a values. This upwelled water dominated the northern part of the Bight on this occasion and there is substantial evidence that the upwelling cell supplies the bottom water for the whole bight. There was little comparable water exchange along the rest of the shelf edge. This cell therefore also controls the supply of nutrients to the whole Bight. The abnormal divergence of the Agulhas Current from the shelf edge near Durban during the cruise suggests the initial stages of a Natal Pulse. Surface temperature distributions and nitrate values indicate a cyclonic motion in this incipient pulse.
Article
Evidence for upwelling along the landward side of the Agulhas Current is presented. An analysis of old and new hydrographic data, surface temperature observations and satellite measurements show that this upwelling occurs in a tightly circumscribed geographic area. Centred at Port Alfred, it has a lateral range along the Agulhas Current from 85 to 300 km. Intermittent outcropping of upwelled water occurs more than 40% of the time and changes the surface temperatures dramatically. Below the upper layers this upwelling is more persistent and durable. It derives its water from the upper to middle levels of South Indian Central Water. This process may have a profound effect on the nutrient availability, the stratification and the primary productivity of specifically the eastern Agulhas Bank south of South Africa.
Article
South Africa's winter-rainfall zone is a climatically sensitive region, lying at the interface of the earth's temperate and sub-tropical climatic systems. Its seasonally arid climate has generally prevented the preservation of long and organic-rich sedimentary deposits, producing a spatially limited and temporally biased Quaternary record. This paper seeks to address this issue further and develop a fuller understanding of the wider climatic changes in this region during the Late Quaternary. Modern climatic data does not support the definitions of the “winter-rainfall zone” presented in previous syntheses and this factor, amongst others, may explain difficulties in resolving the palaeoenvironmental record in this region. We present palaeoenvironmental evidence from the Agulhas Plain, an area marginal to the modern winter-rainfall zone. Cored sedimentological and palynological records from two pans are integrated with previously reported records of aeolian activity, providing evidence for phases of enhanced aridity and humidity during the Late Quaternary. The record is fragmentary, which may reflect the cycling of sediment between the pans and their accompanying lunette dunes. Lacustrine sedimentary sequences dating to c. 33 ka – > 47 ka provide evidence for enhanced humidity consistent with evidence in the winter and year-round rainfall zones. Increased humidity is also recorded from c. 2 ka, following drier conditions than the present c. 2.7–2.5 ka. Palynological evidence supports the sedimentological interpretations of pan water status and offers rare insights into the nature of the region's unique Fynbos vegetation during the Late Pleistocene.
Article
As a component of archaeological investigations on the central Queensland coast, a series of five marine shell specimens live-collected between A.D. 1904 and A.D. 1929 and 11 shell/ charcoal paired samples from archaeological contexts were radiocarbon dated to determine local ΔR values. The object of the study was to assess the potential influence of localized variation in marine reservoir effect in accurately determining the age of marine and estuarine shell from archaeological deposits in the area. Results indicate that the routinely applied ΔR value of -5 +/- 35 for northeast Australia is erroneously calculated. The determined values suggest a minor revision to Reimer and Reimer's (2000) recommended value for northeast Australia from ΔR = +11 +/- 5 to + 12 +/- 7, and specifically for central Queensland to ΔR = +10 +/- 7, for near-shore open marine environments. In contrast, data obtained from estuarine shell/charcoal pairs demonstrate a general lack of consistency, suggesting estuary-specific patterns of variation in terrestrial carbon input and exchange with the open ocean. Preliminary data indicate that in some estuaries, at some time periods, a ΔR value of more than -155 +/- 55 may be appropriate, In estuarine contexts in central Queensland, a localized estuary-specific correction factor is recommended to account for geographical and temporal variation in 14C activity.
Article
The calibration of radiocarbon dates on marine materials involves a global marine calibration with regional corrections. The marine reservoir ages in the Western North Pacific have not been discussed, while it is quite important to determine the timing of palaeo-environmental changes as well as archaeological interpretation around this region. The lack of adequate collection of the pre-bomb shell from western north Pacific was the biggest problem. Recently we had a chance to examine specimens from an old shell collection stored in Kyoto University, including shell specimens from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the Micronesia of 1920s and 1930s. We explored the possibility for usage of specimen without clear evidence of live collection by measuring 30 apparent radiocarbon ages of pre-bomb mollusk shells from 18 sites in Western North Pacific. The preliminary results showed several discrepancies with previously reported results and with each other. We have to carefully select the shell specimen that has biological signs such as articulating fulcrum. In order to exploit this big resource of pre-bomb shell collection, the new technique to distinguish fossils from live collected samples should be developed by using chemical and physical methods.
Global Multi-Resolution Topography (GMRT) synthesis data set
  • Wbf Ryan
  • S M Carbotte
  • J Coplan
  • S O O'hara
  • A Melkonian
  • R Arko
  • R A Weissel
  • V Ferrini
  • A Goodwillie
  • F Nitsche
  • J Bonczkowski
  • R Zemsky
Ryan WBF, Carbotte SM, Coplan J, O'Hara SO, Melkonian A, Arko R, Weissel RA, Ferrini V, Goodwillie A, Nitsche F, Bonczkowski J, Zemsky R. 2009. Global Multi-Resolution Topography (GMRT) synthesis data set. Geochemistry. Geophysics. Geosystems 10:Q03014 doi: 10.1029/2008GC002332.
Pre-bomb marine reservoir ages in the western North Pacific: preliminary result on Kyoto University collection
  • M Yoneda
  • H Uno
  • Y Shibata
  • R Suzuki
  • Y Kumamoto
  • K Yoshida
  • T Sasaki
  • A Suzuki
  • H Kawahata
Yoneda M, Uno H, Shibata Y, Suzuki R, Kumamoto Y, Yoshida K, Sasaki T, Suzuki A, Kawahata H. 2000. Pre-bomb marine reservoir ages in the western North Pacific: preliminary result on Kyoto University collection. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physical Research B172:377-81.