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NUCLEAR BOMBS &CORAL: GUAM CORAL CORE REVEALS OPERATION-SPECIFIC RADIOCARBON SIGNALS FROM THE PACIFIC PROVING GROUNDS
EP24120
Poster Title: NUCLEAR BOMBS &CORAL: GUAM CORAL CORE REVEALS OPERATION-SPECIFIC RADIOCARBON SIGNALS FROM THE PACIFIC PROVING GROUNDS
Submitted on 18 Jun 2016
Author(s): Allen H Andrews, Ryuji Asami, Yasufumi Iryu, Donald Kobayashi, Frank Camacho
Affiliations: NOAA Fisheries - Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, University of the Ryukyus, Tohoku University, University of Guam
This poster was presented at 13th International Coral Reef Symposium, Honolulu, Hawaii
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Poster Information
Abstract: Radiocarbon (14C) analyses on a coral core extracted from the western Central Pacific (Guam) has revealed a series of early peaks in the marine bomb 14C record. The typical marine bomb 14C signal, one that is phase lagged and attenuated relative to atmospheric bomb 14C, is present in the coral core and is consistent with other North Pacific records. However, 14C levels that are well above what can be explained by air-sea diffusion alone punctuate this pattern. This anomaly has been demonstrated to a limited extent in other coral cores of the Indo-Pacific region, but is unmatched relative to the magnitude and temporal resolution recorded in the Guam coral core. Other records have shown an early ∆14C rise on the order of 40-50‰ above pre-bomb levels, with a subsequent decline before continuing the gradual ∆14C rise that is indicative of air-sea diffusion of 14CO2. The Guam coral ∆14C record provided three strong pulses in 1954-55, 1956-57, and 1958-59 that are superimposed on the pre-bomb to initial ∆14C rise from atmospheric bomb 14C. Each of these peaks can be directly linked to testing of thermonuclear devices in the Pacific Proving Grounds at Eniwetok and Bikini Atoll of the Marshall Islands. The measurable lag in reaching Guam can be tied to ocean surface currents and can be traced to other regional ∆14C records from corals, providing a transport timeline to places as distant as the Indonesian throughflow, Okinawa and Palmyra. Summary: Radiocarbon (14C) analyses on a Guam coral core revealed early bomb-produced peaks in the marine record. The typical bomb 14C signal—phase lagged and attenuated relative to atmospheric levels—was present and consistent with other North Pacific records. However, 14C levels above air-sea diffusion levels punctuate the pattern. Three spikes in 1954-55, 1956-57, and 1958-59 were linked to thermonuclear testing in the Pacific Proving Grounds at Enewetak and Bikini atolls.References: Andrews, A. H., D. Siciliano, D. Potts, E. E. DeMartini, and S. Covarrubias (2016), Bomb radiocarbon and the Hawaiian Archipelago—coral, otoliths and seawater. Radiocarbon, XX, xx-xx. dx.doi.org/10.1017/RDC.2016.32

Asami, R., T. Yamada, Y. Iryu, T. M. Quinn, C. P. Meyer, and G. Paulay (2005), Interannual and decadal variability of the western Pacific sea surface condition for the years 1787–2000: reconstruction based on stable isotope record from a Guam coral. J. Geophys. Res., 110, C05018. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2004.05.014

Hua, Q., M. Barbetti, and A. Z. Rakowski (2013), Atmospheric radiocarbon for the period 1950-2010, Radiocarbon, 55, 2059–2072.

Kunkle, T., and B. Ristvet (2013), Castle Bravo: fifty years of legend and lore, 183 p., Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Kirtland, Texas.

Sevitt, S. (1955), The bombs, The Lancet (23 July 1955) pp. 199-201.
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