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Pecten as a new substrate for IcPD dating: the Quaternary raised beaches in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece

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Publication details

JournalQuaternary Geochronology
DateE-pub ahead of print - 31 Oct 2015
DatePublished (current) - 1 Feb 2016
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)40-52
Early online date31/10/15
Original languageEnglish


Intra-crystalline protein diagenesis (IcPD), a recent development of amino acid racemization dating (AAR), is now established as a reliable geochronological tool for the Quaternary. However, extending the method to new biominerals requires extensive testing in order to provide evidence for the closed-system behaviour of the intra-crystalline proteins and to assess the temporal span that can be covered.

Here we present results from high-temperature experiments on the IcPD of the bivalve Pecten, demonstrating that a fraction of proteins can be isolated from a bleach-resistant mineral matrix, which effectively operates as a closed system under conditions of accelerated diagenesis in the laboratory. Analyses of Pecten from the well-dated terrace system of the Gulf of Corinth (Greece) provided a pilot test for the integrity of the intra-crystalline fraction in subfossil shells. The small sample sizes in this preliminary study preclude a full assessment of the aminostratigraphic power of Pecten IcPD, but a concordance is observed between the extent of IcPD and sites dating from between MIS 5 and MIS 11.

We conclude that Pecten is a potentially good substrate for IcPD dating in the Mediterranean, and that the temporal limit of the technique in this area lies beyond MIS 11.

Bibliographical note

This is an author produced version of a paper published in Quarternary Geochronology. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.

    Research areas

  • Intra-crystalline proteins; Pecten (scallop) shell; amino acid racemization (AAR); dating; raised beaches; Mediterranean

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