Resolving the cause of large differences between deglacial benthic foraminifera radiocarbon measurements in Santa Barbara Basin Academic Article uri icon


  • To better understand the deglacial upwelling pattern in the east Pacific, we have made radiocarbon (14C) measurements on benthic foraminifera and macrofauna from a 3.5 m long interval in ODP Core 893A from Santa Barbara Basin, California, representing early deglaciation. This work serves to investigate the source of apparent disagreement between radiocarbon data sets from Leibnitz Laboratory, Kiel University (Kiel) and Carbon Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). These data sets are based on measurements of mixed benthic and mixed planktonic foraminifera. Interlaboratory 14C results are similar for the planktonic foraminiferal analyses; however, Kiel measurements on mixed benthic foraminifera are much older than mixed benthic measurements from equivalent depths measured at LLNL. Our new results show distinct 14C differences between taxa, with Pyrgo sp. giving ages consistently older than Kiel measurements on mixed benthic taxa, while ages for Nonionellina sp., Buliminella sp., Uvigerina sp., and benthic macrofauna were much younger, even younger than the LLNL mixed benthic data. The new data supports benthic-planktonic age offsets of no more than 300 years, indicating that bottom waters within the basin remained significantly younger during early deglaciation than some previous results have suggested and are thus consistent with sedimentary and faunal evidence for well-oxygenated conditions. 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

published proceedings

  • Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology

author list (cited authors)

  • Magana, A. L., Southon, J. R., Kennett, J. P., Roark, E. B., Sarnthein, M., & Stott, L. D.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Magana, Alexandra L||Southon, John R||Kennett, James P||Roark, E Brendan||Sarnthein, Michael||Stott, Lowell D

publication date

  • January 2010