Electron Spin Resonance and Radiocarbon dating of coral deposited by Holocene tsunami events on Curacao, Bonaire and Aruba (Netherlands Antilles)
Electron spin resonance (ESR) dating of coral has become an efficient geochronological tool for studying the last 500,000 years. This study presents results of ESR dating of Holocene coral from Curaçao, Bonaire and Aruba, Leeward Netherlands Antilles. The coral accumulated in rubble ridges and ramparts onshore and the depositional process is attributed to a series of tsunami events. In addition to the calculation of equivalent dose (DE) values, it is crucial for ESR dating to obtain the correct D0 value for each sample. The annual dose rate (D0) estimation of the samples in this study is uncertain as the timing of the tsunami event and the residence time of a component of the dated sediment in different environments (marine versus terrestrial) is difficult to quantify. Assuming that the tsunami event deposited coral shortly after death, the ESR and 14C ages of 22 samples reaching from 3650 to 128 years correspond well with each other. This confirms the idea that the living coral reef was partly destroyed by tsunami events. The ESR dating uncertainties coincide with the variability of 14C ages caused by the marine reservoir effect. The local marine reservoir effect was estimated using four recent samples from 1920 and provided values between 375 and 595 yr BP.
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