Radiocarbon variability in the western North Atlantic during the last deglaciation

L F Robinson, J F Adkins, L D Keigwin, J Southon, D P Fernandez, S L Wang, D S Scheirer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

221 Citations (Scopus)


We present a detailed history of glacial to Holocene radiocarbon in the deep western North Atlantic from deep-sea corals and paired benthic-planktonic foraminifera. The deglaciation is marked by switches between radiocarbon-enriched and -depleted waters, leading to large radiocarbon gradients in the water column. These changes played an important role in modulating atmospheric radiocarbon. The deep-ocean record supports the notion of a bipolar seesaw with increased Northem-source deep-water formation linked to Northern Hemisphere warming and the reverse. In contrast, the more frequent radiocarbon variations in the intermediate/deep ocean are associated with roughly synchronous changes at the poles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1469-1473
Number of pages5
Issue number5753
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2005


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