Articles | Volume 17, issue 4
Research article
 | Highlight paper
16 Aug 2021
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 16 Aug 2021

On the tuning of plateaus in atmospheric and oceanic 14C records to derive calendar chronologies of deep-sea cores and records of 14C marine reservoir age changes

Edouard Bard and Timothy J. Heaton


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Short summary
We assess the 14C plateau tuning technique used to date marine sediments and determine 14C marine reservoir ages. We identify problems linked to assumptions of the technique, the assumed shapes of the 14C / 12C records, and the sparsity and uncertainties in both atmospheric and marine data. Our concerns are supported with carbon cycle box model experiments and statistical simulations, allowing us to question the ability to tune 14C age plateaus in the context of noisy and sparse data.