Shell we date? ESR dating Sangamon Interglacial Episode deposits At Hopwood Farm, IL

Bonnie A B Blackwell, Danny M K Kim, B. Brandon Curry, David A. Grimley, Joel I B Blickstein, Anne R. Skinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the Sangamon Episode, North America occasionally experienced warm climates. At Hopwood Farm, IL, a small kettle lake filled with sediment after the Illinois Episode glaciers retreated from southern Illinois. To date those deposits, 14 mollusc samples newly collected with associated sediment from three depths at Hopwood Farm were dated by standard electron spin resonance (ESR) dating. ESR can date molluscs from ~0.5 ka to > 2Ma in age with 5-10% precision, by comparing the accumulated radiation dose with the total radiation dose rate from the mollusc and its environment. Because all molluscs contained ≤0.6 ppm U, their ages do not depend on the assumed U uptake model. Using five different species, ESR analyses for 14 mollusc subsamples from Hopwood Farm showed that Unit 3, a layer rich in lacustrine molluscs, dates at 102 ± 7 ka to 90 ± 6 ka, which correlates with Marine (Oxygen) Isotope Stage 5c-b. Thus, the period with the highest non-arboreal pollen at Hopwood also correlates with the European Brørup, Dansgaard-Oeschger Event DO 23, a time period when climates were cooling and drying somewhat over the same period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-295
Number of pages13
JournalRadiation Protection Dosimetry
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Radiation
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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