Articles | Volume 6, issue 2
Research article
23 May 2024
Research article |  | 23 May 2024

A new method for amino acid geochronology of the shell of the bivalve mollusc Arctica islandica

Martina L. G. Conti, Paul G. Butler, David J. Reynolds, Tamara Trofimova, James D. Scourse, and Kirsty E. H. Penkman

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Cited articles

Abelson, P. H.: Organic constituents of fossils, Carnegie Inst. Wash. YRB, 54, 97–101, 1955. 
Agbaje, O. B. A., Shir, I. B., Zax, D. B., Schidt, A., and Jacob, D. E.: Biomacromolecules within bivalve shells: Is chitin abundant?, Acta Biomater., 80, 176–187,, 2018. 
Ahronson, K.: Seljaland: archaeology, palaeoecology and tephrochronology, in: Holocene Tephrochronology. Applications in South Iceland. Field Guide, edited by: Larsen, G. and Eiríksson, J., Quaternary Research Association, London, 61–66, 2012. 
Alves, E. Q., Macario, K., Ascough, P., and Bronk Ramsey, C.: The worldwide marine radiocarbon reservoir effect: Definitions, mechanisms, and prospects, Rev. Geophys., 56, 278–305,, 2018. 
Andersen, S. H.: “Køkkenmøddinger” (shell middens) in Denmark: A survey, P. Prehist. Soc., 66, 361–84, 2000. 
Short summary
The mollusc Arctica islandica can survive for hundreds of years, and its annual growth captures environmental conditions, each shell providing a detailed climatic record.  Dating is essential for sample selection, but radiocarbon and cross-dating are laborious and costly.  Alternatively, amino acid geochronology was investigated in the three aragonitic layers of the shells. This study confirms the value of AAG in the iOSL layer as a method for range-finder dating Quaternary A. islandica shells.