University Of Tasmania
1996-Harris-Quaternary.pdf (375.1 kB)

Late Quaternary history of sedimentation on the Mac. Robertson shelf, East Antarctica: problems with 14C-dating of marine sediment cores

Download (375.1 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-03, 01:25 authored by PT Harris, PE O Brien, P Sedwick, EM Truswell
Stratigraphic information concerning the retreat of the Antarctic ice sheet from the continental shelf after the Last Glacial Maximum is reviewed and compared with new results from a shelf valley off Mac. Robertson Land, East Antarctica. Radiocarbon dates and detailed lithostratigraphic logs indicate that the onset of open-marine conditions over shallow shelfbanks (<200 m water depth) was achieved prior to 7000 yr BP and over deep (~l 000 m) middle to oliter shelf valleys, open-marine conditions were achieved prior to 5400 yr BP. Radiocarbon dating of bulk-organic carbon in some diatom oozes by the AMS method demonstrates problems of contamination. Jurassic pollen, spores and organic matter have been eroded and incorporated into Holocene diatom ooze, causing anomalously old 14C dates (e.g. one surface age of 7084 ± 86 yr BP was determined). This problem may arise at other locations around East Antarctica where older strata outcrop on the seafloor.


Publication title

Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania







Rights statement

Copyright Royal Society of Tasmania.