Reconstructing late pleistocene atmospheric radiocarbon using subfossil New Zealand Kauri (Agathis australis)

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Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Subfossil New Zealand kauri (Agathis australis) buried in bogs across Northland, New Zealand, provide considerable potential for a continuous high-precision radiocarbon calibration curve that extends across the full range of radiocarbon dating. Kauri currently is a significant contributor to our understanding of calibration in this Southern region. The preserved samples also offer a unique opportunity to reconstruct climate events on multi-millennial timescales with annual resolution and carbon concentration. Here we investigate a key site called Waipu, where 40 subfossil trees have been crossdated to form 5 floating chronologies. These series cover collectively 6000 years and preliminary radiocarbon dating suggests a range of ages from 22,000 to 49,000 years BP. Further radiocarbon dating and crossdating of other kauri tree-ring series using the new RingdateR package and visual inspection has identified other trees that may cross-date. This suggests it may be possible to link the floating Waipu series, forming a continuous chronology.If successful this would form the one of the longest subfossil kauri chronologies, with the help of radiocarbon dating. The Waipu chronology would form a world-class palaeo-archive for the Southern Hemisphere and provide a valuable contribution to future iterations of the international calibration curves. © The Authors
Pleistocene epoch, Atmospheres, Carbon 14, Fossils, New Zealand, Climates, Tree rings, Southern Hemisphere
O'Brien, P. P. Turney, C., Palmer, J., Fenwick, P., Hogg, A., Lorrey, A., & Hua, Q. (2021). Reconstructing late pleistocene atmospheric radiocarbon using subfossil New Zealand Kauri (Agathis australis). Paper presented to the 15th International Conference on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry. ANSTO Sydney, Australia. November 15th – 19th, 2021, (pp. 44). Retrieved from: