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Changing atmospheric Δ^(14)C and the record of deep water paleoventilation ages

American Geophysical Union
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We propose a new calculation method to better estimate the deep water ventilation age from benthic-planktonic foraminifera ^(14)C ages. Our study is motivated by the fact that changes in atmospheric Δ^(14)C through time can cause contemporary benthic and planktonic foraminifera to have different initial Δ^(14)C values. This effect can cause spurious ventilation age changes to be interpreted from the geologic data. Using a new calculation method, ^(14)C projection ages, we recalculate the data from the Pacific Ocean. Contrary to previous results, we find that the Pacific intermediate and deep waters were about 600 years older than today at the last glacial maximum. In addition, there are possible signals of ventilation age change prior to ice sheet melting and at the Younger Dryas. However, the data are still too sparse to constrain these ventilation transients.

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