Marine radiocarbon reservoir corrections ({increment}R) for Chesapeake Bay and the Middle Atlantic Coast of North America

Torben C. Rick, Gregory A. Henkes, Darrin L. Lowery, Steven M. Colman, Brendan J. Culleton

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Radiocarbon dates from known age, pre-bomb eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) shells provide local marine reservoir corrections ({increment}R) for Chesapeake Bay and the Middle Atlantic coastal area of eastern North America. These data suggest subregional variability in {increment}R, ranging from 148±46 14Cyr on the Potomac River to -109±38 14Cyr at Swan Point, Maryland. The {increment}R weighted mean for the Chesapeake's Western Shore (129±22 14Cyr) is substantially higher than the Eastern Shore (-88±23 14Cyr), with outer Atlantic Coast samples falling between these values (106±46 and 2±46 14Cyr). These differences may result from a combination of factors, including 14C-depleted freshwater that enters the bay from some if its drainages, 14C-depleted seawater that enters the bay at its mouth, and/or biological carbon recycling. We advocate using different subregional {increment}R corrections when calibrating 14C dates on aquatic specimens from the Chesapeake Bay and coastal Middle Atlantic region of North America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalQuaternary Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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