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Title:Radiocarbon reservoir effects in the American bottom flood plain of the Mississippi River and adjacent uplands in southern Illinois
Author(s):Fort, Matthew Alexander
Advisor(s):Pauketat, Timothy R
Contributor(s):Hedman, Kristin M
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Freshwater radiocarbon reservoir effect
stable light Isotopes
American Bottom
Abstract:Radiocarbon reservoir effects (RREs) occur when the 14C activity in a system does not maintain equilibrium with atmospheric 14CO2 activity. Within aquatic systems, old (14C-depleted) carbon may dilute the current carbon pool by soil erosion, decomposition of old botanical and fauna remains, and dissolution of ancient carbonate rocks. Aquatic food webs assimilate the older carbon, and consumers of aquatic foods incorporate older carbon in their tissues. In one of the first papers examining freshwater RREs Lanting and van der Plicht (1998) dated modern fish and shellfish and found reservoir ages of up to 4430 years in canals and 2000 years in rivers in the Netherlands. If such large offsets exist in the American Bottom, then even limited consumption of aquatic resources could lead to offsets of radiocarbon dates of ~200-400 years in humans, dogs and other species. Identifying and assessing the magnitude of any RRE present via calculation of freshwater radiocarbon reservoir offsets (FROs) from the Intcal20 (Reimer et al., 2020) for the American Bottom region will be the first step in correcting for the consumption of aquatic resources with RREs which could affect the apparent radiocarbon age of omnivorous consumers.
Issue Date:2021-04-27
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Matthew A. Fort
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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