Dating the Vostok ice core record by importing the Devils Hole chronology
Article first published online: 21 SEP 2012
This paper is not subject to U.S. copyright. Published in 2001 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012)
Volume 106, Issue D23, pages 31853–31861, 16 December 2001
How to Cite
2001), Dating the Vostok ice core record by importing the Devils Hole chronology, J. Geophys. Res., 106(D23), 31853–31861, doi:10.1029/2001JD900065., and (
- Issue published online: 21 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 21 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 JAN 2001
- Manuscript Received: 1 MAY 2000
The development of an accurate chronology for the Vostok record continues to be an open research question because these invaluable ice cores cannot be dated directly. Depth-to-age relationships have been developed using many different approaches, but published age estimates are inconsistent, even for major paleoclimatic events. We have developed a chronology for the Vostok deuterium paleotemperature record using a simple and objective algorithm to transfer ages of major paleoclimatic events from the radiometrically dated 500,000-year δ18O-paleotemperature record from Devils Hole, Nevada. The method is based only on a strong inference that major shifts in paleotemperature recorded at both locations occurred synchronously, consistent with an atmospheric teleconnection. The derived depth-to-age relationship conforms with the physics of ice compaction, and internally produces ages for climatic events 5.4 and 11.24 which are consistent with the externally assigned ages that the Vostok team needed to assume in order to derive their most recent chronology, GT4. Indeed, the resulting V-DH chronology is highly correlated with GT4 because of the unexpected correspondence even in the timing of second-order climatic events that were not constrained by the algorithm. Furthermore, the algorithm developed herein is not specific to this problem; rather, the procedure can be used whenever two paleoclimate records are proxies for the same physical phenomenon, and paleoclimatic conditions forcing the two records can be considered to have occurred contemporaneously. The ability of the algorithm to date the East Antarctic Dome Fuji core is also demonstrated.