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Changes in the radiocarbon reservoir age in Lake Xingyun, Southwestern China during the Holocene.

PLoS ONE. 2015;10(3):e0121532 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0121532


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Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



Aifeng Zhou

Yuxin He

Duo Wu

Xiaonan Zhang

Can Zhang

Zhonghui Liu

Junqing Yu


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Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Chronology is a necessary component of paleoclimatology. Radiocarbon dating plays a central role in determining the ages of geological samples younger than ca. 50 ka BP. However, there are many limitations for its application, including radiocarbon reservoir effects, which may cause incorrect chronology in many lakes. Here we demonstrate temporal changes in the radiocarbon reservoir age of Lake Xingyun, Southwestern China, where radiocarbon ages based on bulk organic matter have been reported in previous studies. Our new radiocarbon ages, determined from terrestrial plant macrofossils suggest that the radiocarbon reservoir age changed from 960 to 2200 years during the last 8500 cal a BP years. These changes to the reservoir effect were associated with inputs from either pre-aged organic carbon or 14C-depleted hard water in Lake Xingyun caused by hydrological change in the lake system. The radiocarbon reservoir age may in return be a good indicator for the carbon source in lake ecosystems and depositional environment.