We present the WD2014 chronology for the upper part (0-2850 m; 31.2 ka BP) of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide (WD) ice core. The chronology is based on counting of annual layers observed in the chemical, dust and electrical conductivity records. These layers are caused by seasonal changes in the source, transport, and deposition of aerosols. The measurements were interpreted manually and with the aid of two automated methods. We validated the chronology by comparing to two high-accuracy, absolutely dated chronologies. For the Holocene, the cosmogenic isotope records of 10Be from WAIS Divide and 14C for IntCal13 demonstrated that WD2014 was consistently accurate to better than 0.5 % of the age. For the glacial period, comparisons to the Hulu Cave chronology demonstrated that WD2014 had an accuracy of better than 1 % of the age at three abrupt climate change events between 27 and 31 ka. WD2014 has consistently younger ages than Greenland ice core chronologies during most of the Holocene. For the Younger Dryas-Preboreal transition (11.595 ka; 24 years younger) and the Bølling-Allerød Warming (14.621 ka; 7 years younger), WD2014 ages are within the combined uncertainties of the timescales. Given its high accuracy, WD2014 can become a reference chronology for the Southern Hemisphere, with synchronization to other chronologies feasible using high-quality proxies of volcanism, solar activity, atmospheric mineral dust, and atmospheric methane concentrations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Global and Planetary Change