Chronology of the Palmer Deep site, Antarctic Peninsula: A Holocene palaeoenvironmental reference for the circum-Antarctic

E. Domack, A. Leventer, R. Dunbar, F. Taylor, S. Brachfeld, C. Sjunneskog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

238 Scopus citations


Palmer Deep sediment cores are used to produce the first high-resolution; continuous late Pleistocene to Holocene time-series from the Antarctic marine system. The sedimentary record is dated using accelerator mass spectrometer radiocarbon methods on acid insoluble organic matter and foraminiferal calcite. Fifty-four radiocarbon analyses are utilized in the dating which provides a calibrated timescale back to 13 ka BP. Reliability of resultant ages on Organic matter is assured because duplicates produce a standard deviation from the surface age of less than laboratory error (i.e., ±50 years). In addition, surface organic matter ages at the site are in excellent agreement with living calcite ages at the accepted reservoir age of ∼1260 years for the Antarctic Peninsula. Spectral analyses of the magnetic susceptibility record against the age model reveal unusually strong periodicity in the 400, ∼200 and 50-70 year frequency bands, similar to other high-resolution records from the Holocene but, so far, unique for the circum-Antarctic. Here we show that comparison to icecore records of specific climatic events (e.g., the 'Little Ice Age', Neoglacial, Hypsithermal, and the Bølling/Allerød to Younger Dryas transition) provides improved focus upon the relative timing of atmosphere/ocean changes between the northern and southern high latitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Chronology
  • Holocene
  • Palmer Deep
  • Periodicity
  • Radiocarbon
  • Sedimentology
  • Spectral analysis


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