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

Federica Pierini, Beatrice Demarchi, Jenni Turner, Kirsty Elizabeth Helena Penkman

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-52
Number of pages13
JournalQuaternary Geochronology
Early online date31 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

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.


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

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