Radiocarbon dating of deep-sea corals

Jess F. Adkins, Shelia Griffin, Michaele Kashgarian, Hai Cheng, E. R.M. Druffel, E. A. Boyle, R. Lawrence Edwards, Chuan Chou Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Deep-sea corals are a promising new archive of paleoclimate. Coupled radiocarbon and U-series dates allow 14C to be used as a tracer of ocean circulation rate in the same manner as it is used in the modern ocean. Diagenetic alteration of coral skeletons on the seafloor requires a thorough cleaning of contaminating phases of carbon. In addition, 10% of the coral must be chemically leached prior to dissolution to remove adsorbed modern CO2. A survey of modern samples from the full Δ14C gradient in the deep ocean demonstrates that the coralline CaCO3 records the radiocarbon value of the dissolved inorganic carbon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-580
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


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