Get access

Deglacial reservoir age and implications, Foxe Peninsula, Baffin Island


  • Vickers K. J., Ward B. C., Utting D. J., Telka A. M. 2010. Deglacial reservoir age and implications, Foxe Peninsula, Baffin Island. J. Quaternary Sci., Vol. 25 pp. 1338–1346. ISSN 0267-8179.


Marine reservoir age is reported for Foxe Basin, Canada, during deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Radiocarbon (14C) measurements were made on pairs of contemporaneous molluscs and Salix (willow) macrofossils, yielding a mean marine reservoir age of 985 ± 10 14C a. Mean regional ΔR is calculated to be 615 ± 20 14C a relative to a mean global reservoir age of ca. 400 14C a. Previous studies in the Canadian Arctic that have been conducted on modern pre-bomb molluscs give ΔR values of ca. 100–300 14C a. The difference between modern and deglacial reservoir ages indicates that ΔR in Foxe Basin has changed over time, which has implications for the reconstruction of past events based on marine 14C dates. We recalculate the timing of deglaciation of Hudson Strait with this new reservoir age and relate this to the 8.2 cal. ka event. We recommend that local ΔR be determined for the time period being examined whenever possible, and that in cases where this is impossible a ΔR value of 615 14C a be applied when calibrating marine samples from Foxe Basin and vicinity during deglaciation. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.