Plutonium isotopes in the North Western Pacific sediments coupled with radiocarbon in corals recording precise timing of the Anthropocene
A new paper has been published by the PALSEA working group.
Due to atmospheric nuclear tests predominantly conducted in the 50s, plutonium has been used as a mid-twentieth century time-marker in different geological archives. Advancement of analytical techniques enables the measurement of 239Pu and 240Pu with greater accuracy and can thereby "reconstruct the Pacific Pu signal that originated from the former Pacific Proving Grounds (PPG) in the Marshall Islands."
In their article published in Scientific Reports, Yokoyama Y et al. "propose a novel method that couples annual banded reef building corals and nearshore anoxic marine sediments to provide a marker to precisely determine the start of the nuclear era which is known as a part of the Anthropocene."
Find out more about the PALSEA working group: https://pastglobalchanges.org/science/wg/palsea/intro