Carbon 14: Norwegian Blues

A depressing aspect of some published papers is that they assiduously avoid analysing the raw data.

Instead they plunge headlong into transmogrifying their raw data into Settled Science.

This is regrettable because a simple reality check can provide some valuable insights.

Take, for example, this [potentially] fascinating paper on Sea Surface Temperatures based upon planktonic foraminiferal in cores extracted from the Norwegian continental margin.

By combined use of 210Pb dates, identification of Icelandic tephras of known age, and wiggle matching of 14C radiocarbon dates, exceptional accurate chronologies have been established for two cores (P1003MC and SC) raised from the same location on the Norwegian continental margin and that span the last 8 ka.

They are located directly under the core of the eastern branch of Atlantic water entering the Nordic Seas.

Comparing oxygen isotope measurements on the planktonic foraminiferal species Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (dex) with nearby instrumental time series, suggest that this parameter at this site primarily reflects summer temperature conditions of near surface (c. 50 m) waters.

We argue that this proxy, to some degree, reflects North Atlantic sea surface temperature variability through the Holocene.

A Holocene North Atlantic SST Record and Regional Climate Variability
H.P.Sejrup, Haflidi Haflidason and John T. Andrews
Quaternary Science Reviews – Volume 30, Issues 21–22, October 2011

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379111002368

Foraminifera are members of a phylum or class of amoeboid protists characterized by: streaming granular ectoplasm for catching food and other uses; and commonly an external shell (called a “test”) of diverse forms and materials.

Dying planktonic Foraminifera continuously rain down on the sea floor in vast numbers, their mineralized tests preserved as fossils in the accumulating sediment.

Because of their diversity, abundance, and complex morphology, fossil foraminiferal assemblages are useful for biostratigraphy, and can accurately give relative dates to sedimentary rocks, as was discovered by Alva C. Ellisor in 1920.

Thus, they are very useful in paleoclimatology and paleoceanography.

They can be used, as a climate proxy, to reconstruct past climate by examining the stable isotope ratios and trace element content of the shells (tests).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foraminifera

One of the more startling claims made by this paper is that “exceptional accurate chronologies” have been established for the last 8,000 years by using an “Age Model”.

By combined use of 210Pb dates, identification of Icelandic tephras of known age, and wiggle matching of 14C radiocarbon dates, exceptional accurate chronologies have been established for two cores (P1003MC and SC) raised from the same location on the Norwegian continental margin and that span the last 8 ka.

A Holocene North Atlantic SST Record and Regional Climate Variability
H.P.Sejrup, Haflidi Haflidason and John T. Andrews
Quaternary Science Reviews – Volume 30, Issues 21–22, October 2011

Thankfully, the authors have provided the Uncalibrated Carbon-14 data so that a basic reality check can be performed.

Note: Dates converted from Before Present [1950] to AD/BC
e.g. 1950 – 965BP = 985AD

The interpretation of the wiggles in this raw data depend upon your perspective.

A Gradualist might conclude the radiocarbon dates require calibration.

A Catastrophist might conclude the stratigraphy has been disturbed on numerous occasions.

But both should agree a significant regime change occurred around 3,000 BC [uncalibrated].

Focusing upon the 1st millennium AD reveals:

1) The Arabian Horizon is clearly identifiable between 550AD and 660AD.

2) The Heinsohn Horizon is clearly identifiable at 985AD ± 55 years.

3) Deposition appears to have stopped at the Heinsohn Horizon [985AD ± 55 years].

4) The Carbon-14 regime [temporarily] changed at the Arabian Horizon.

5) Arguably, the Heinsohn Horizon represented a sudden step change reversion to the Carbon-14 regime that existed before the Arabian Horizon.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2017/03/19/close-encounters-of-the-cometary-kind/

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/heinsohn-and-the-eclipse-record/

Intriguingly, the Age Model in the referenced paper transmogrified the uncalibrated radiocarbon date of the Heinsohn Horizon [985 AD ± 55] into a stunning 1654.3 AD.

The reader is left to decide whether this Age Model produces “exceptional accurate chronologies”.

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6 Responses to Carbon 14: Norwegian Blues

  1. In the table showing the calibrated C14 data, the top 2cm represent 965AD age?

    Deposition of whatever from the present to 2cm represents 1052 years?

    Blimey.

  2. malagabay says:

    The core location: 63º 45′ 44″ N 05º 15′ 19″ E Water depth: 875 metres.

    Said to be “located beneath the eastern branch of the Atlantic current”.

    Not too far from the Norwegian trench.

    The Norwegian trench or Norwegian channel is an elongated depression in the sea floor off the southern coast of Norway. It reaches from the Stad peninsula in Sogn og Fjordane in the northwest to the Oslofjord in the southeast.

    The trench is between 50 and 95 kilometres wide and up to 700 metres deep.

    Off the Rogaland coast it is 250 – 300 metres deep, and its deepest point is off Arendal where it reaches 700 metres deep – an abyss compared to the average depth of the North Sea, which is about 100 metres.

    The Norwegian Trench was created by fluvial erosion processes during the later Tertiary age. Pleistocene glaciers and ice-sheets further deepened the trench.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_trench

    The lower 53 cm of the P1003SC core are said to contain debris from the Storegga Slide.

    The three Storegga Slides are considered to be amongst the largest known landslides.

    They occurred under water, at the edge of Norway’s continental shelf in the Norwegian Sea, approximately 6225–6170 BCE.

    The collapse involved an estimated 290 km (180 mi) length of coastal shelf, with a total volume of 3,500 km3 (840 cu mi) of debris, which caused a very large tsunami in the North Atlantic Ocean.

    At, or shortly before, the time of the last Storegga Slide, a land bridge known to archaeologists and geologists as “Doggerland” existed, linking the area of Great Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands across what is now the southern North Sea.

    This area is believed to have included a coastline of lagoons, marshes, mudflats, and beaches, and to have been a rich hunting, fowling and fishing ground populated by Mesolithic human cultures.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storegga_Slide

    The Storegga Slides are associated “weak geological layers” of which “very little is known”.

    The presence of weak geological layers is a factor which contributes to submarine landslides at all scales.

    Despite their ubiquity, very little is known about the nature and characteristics of the weak geological layers, as they have rarely been sampled and very little geotechnical work has been conducted on them.

    An example of a slide which was caused by weak geological layers is the Storegga slide, near Norway which had a total volume of 3,300 km³.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_landslide

    Doggerland was an area now beneath the southern North Sea that connected Great Britain to continental Europe during and after the last glacial period.

    Geological surveys have suggested that it stretched from Britain’s east coast to the Netherlands and the western coasts of Germany and the peninsula of Jutland.

    It was probably a rich habitat with human habitation in the Mesolithic period, although rising sea levels gradually reduced it to low-lying islands before its final submergence, possibly following a tsunami caused by the Storegga Slide.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doggerland

    Translation:

    Weak Geological Layers => Inflating Earth
    Storegga Slides => Opening up of the North Atlantic
    Norwegian Trench => Draining of the Inland Seas

    Shaping Scotland

    • The Wikipedia entry is simply geological gobbledygook – post-modernist claptrap. The measured uplift of the crust in this region is also not well explained since it cannot be due to the removal of ice sheets and glaciers – rocks of density 1 Kg/m^3 cannot depress rocks of double the density (Isostasic Idiocy). My guess is the bulging is being caused by degassing of CH4 from the mantle caused by some unknown external agent now absent.

      The Wikipedia page needs serious Fisking.

  3. Pingback: The Miocene Mysteries | MalagaBay

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