Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Accurate Antarctic dating technique sought by Quaternary community


  • Eugene Domack,

  • Brenda Hall,

  • John M. Hayes


Late Quaternary paleoenvironmental records from the circum-Antarctic and Southern Ocean play an increasing role in deciphering the interplay among the atmosphere, ocean, and cryosphere climate systems. Correlating such records at increasing time resolution is vital for evaluating the global phasing of scenarios that involve rapid climate changes in the tropics and at one or both poles. Because interhemispheric correlations are subject to greater scrutiny [Crowley, 1999] and a higher level of detail than in the past, we must be certain that our chronologies are both accurate and precise.

Although radiocarbon dating remains the single best chronologic tool for marine and terrestrial sequences, the technique has serious problems when applied to Antarctic samples. To assess the state of the problem (s), to consider potential solutions, and to review new continuous time series, a workshop was convened earlier this year.