Correlation of late Holocene terrestrial and marine tephra markers, north Iceland: implications for reservoir age changes

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Larsen, Gudrun ; Eiríksson, Jón ; Knudsen, Karen Luise ; Heinemeier, Jan (2002)

The tephrochronology of the last 3000 years has been investigated in soil sections in north Iceland and in a marine sediment core from the north Icelandic shelf, 50 km offshore. Tephra markers, identified with major element geochemical analysis of volcanic glass shards, serve to correlate the marine and terrestrial records. Hekla 3, the largest Holocene tephra marker from the volcano Hekla, in south Iceland, dated to 2980 years BP, is used as the basal unit in the tephra stratigraphy. AMS 14C dating of molluscs in the sediment core shows variable deviation from the tephrochronological age model, indicating that the reservoir age of the seawater mass at the coring site has varied with time. A standard marine reservoir correction of 400 14C years appears to be reasonable at the present day in the coastal and shelf waters around Iceland, which are dominated by the Irminger Current. However, values over 500 years are observed during the last 3000 years. We suggest that the intervals with increased and variable marine reservoir correction reflect incursions of Arctic water masses derived from the East Greenland Current to the area north of Iceland.
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