The University of Arizona

Radiocarbon Dating of Recent Intertidal Microbial Mats on Atoll Rims

Jean Trichet, Christine Hatté, Michel Fontugne


Microbial mats (kopara in Polynesian) that develop in shallow brackish to hypersaline ponds on the rims of atolls were investigated for their accumulation process and rate. Two sequences of ~30-cm-deep kopara, composed of 7 and 5 layers distinguished by their colors and sedimentological facies were collected in 1996 from the Tetiaroa atoll, French Polynesia. The combination of radiocarbon activity measurements on both organic and carbonate constituents, reservoir effect estimation, and comparison with the Southern Hemisphere atmospheric bomb-peak 14C record allowed us to establish a fine chronology of the layer successions documenting the mode of formation, erosion, and restoration of these microbial mat deposits.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.55.16230


kopara, stomatolite

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