Department of Earth System Science
Variability of radiocarbon during the 1760s in monthly corals from the Galapagos Island
- Author(s): Druffel, Ellen R M
- Griffin, Sheila
- Hwang, Jeomshik
- Komada, Tomoko
- Beaupre, Steven R
- Druffel-Rodriguez, Kevin C
- Santos, Guaciara
- Southon, John R
- et al.
Radiocarbon (∆14C) measurements of monthly samples from a Galapagos surface coral are among the first data sets from the new Keck Carbon Cycle Accelerator Mass Spectrometry laboratory at the University of California, Irvine. An average ∆14C value of -62‰ is obtained for 144 measurements of samples from monthly coral bands that lived from about AD 1760-1771 (±6 yr). High ∆14C values were found during January through March, when upwelling was weak or absent at the Galapagos Islands. Low ∆14C values were obtained mid-year during strong upwelling. The average seasonal variability of ∆14C was 15-25‰, which is greater than that at other tropical and subtropical locations in the Pacific Ocean because of intense seasonal upwelling at this site. Periods of sustained high ∆14C values were found during 1762-1763 and 1766. A spectral analysis revealed that the spectral density for the ∆14C data displays most of its variance at the 5-yr cycle, which is reflective of El Nio periodicity during the 20th century.