Research project: Marine carbon reservoir variability along the New South Wales south coast


Start date:

Museum investigators

External investigators

  • Dr Sean Ulm, Senior Lecturer, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies , University of Queensland
  • Dr Geraldine Jacobsen, Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation [ANSTO]

Funded by

  • Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE)


This project will characterise marine carbon reservoir variability along the New South Wales south coast. Regional marine reservoir effect is commonly expressed as DeltaR. Although Quaternary scientists working on high resolution late Holocene sequences in this region frequently base chronologies on marine shell determinations, the currently recommended regional DeltaR value is problematic. However, there has been no systematic evaluation of its applicability.

This project attempts to address this deficiency through the dating of a suite of well-provenanced live-collected shell specimens using high precision AMS (Accelerator Mass Sperctrometry) facilities available at ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation). Results have broad implications for studies of coastal archaeology and geomorphology in eastern Australia, including studies of sea-level change, coastal dune sequences, and archaeological trends in Aboriginal occupation along the New South Wales coast.

Dr Val Attenbrow , Principal Research Scientist
Ian Loch
Last Updated: