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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Professor Mike Church

Ascough, P L, Cook, G T, Church, M J, Dugmore, A J, Arge, S V & McGovern, T H (2006). Variability in North Atlantic marine radiocarbon reservoir effects at c.1000 AD. The Holocene 16(1): 131-136.

Author(s) from Durham


14C age measurements made on samples from three archaeological sites located on North Atlantic coasts were used to investigate the marine reservoir effect (MRE) at c.1000 AD. This is an important period within human cultural and paleoenvironmental research as it is a time when Norse expansion to the North Atlantic islands occurred, during what appears to be a period of ameliorating climatic conditions. This makes improved chronological precision and accuracy at this time highly desirable. The data indicate a significant latitudinal variation in MRE at c.1000 AD from a ΔR of –152 ± 26 14C yr at Omey Island (530 32’ N) to 57 ± 22 14C yr at Undir Junkarinsfløtti (610 51’ N). The results are compared with modern assessments of MRE values within the context of oceanographic and climatic regimes that provide a possible driving mechanism for spatial and temporal variation in MRE.