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While we officially live in the Holocene epoch, global warming and many other impacts of global change have led to the proposal and wide adoption of the Anthropocene to define the present geological epoch. The Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) established that it should be treated as a formal stratigraphic unit, demonstrated by a reference level commonly known as "golden spike", still under discussion. Here we show that the onset of bomb-derived plutonium recorded in two banded massive corals from the Caribbean Sea is consistent (1955-1956 CE), so sites far from nuclear testing grounds are potentially suitable to host a type section of the Anthropocene. Coastal coral demonstration sites are feasible, could foster economic development, and may serve as focal points for scientific dissemination and environmental education. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Joan-Albert Sanchez-Cabeza, Serguei Damián Rico-Esenaro, José Antonio Corcho-Alvarado, Stefan Röllin, Juan P Carricart-Ganivet, Paolo Montagna, Ana Carolina Ruiz-Fernández, Alejandro Cearreta. Plutonium in coral archives: A good primary marker for an Anthropocene type section. The Science of the total environment. 2021 Jun 01;771:145077

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PMID: 33736122

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