Abstract

Three pieces of driftwood in frozen beach gravel were recovered at 77 inches, 115 inches, and 131 inches below the surface of the spit at Barrow, Alaska. Radiocarbon dating gives an age of 1100 ± 120 years for the stratigraphically highest wood fragment, 1090 ± 140 years for the next fragment, and 10,800 ± 300 years for the stratigraphically lowest sample. All the driftwood may have been reworked from older deposits and thus be considerably older than the beach sediments in which they occur. An age of 1100 years for the sediments in which the upper two wood samples occur is supported by the presence of small active ice wedges 6–24 inches wide in the beach gravels. The age of the sediments in which the lowermost wood sample occurs may be 10,800 years; however, the validity of using this age for the age of the sediments is questionable.

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