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Flinders Researcher Deploys New Statistical Model in Aging Naracoorte Caves


A Flinders University researcher has discovered the age of sedimentary layers in the Naracoorte Caves system using a new computer modelling technique.

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Amy Macken used the technology, the first time it’s been deployed on an Australian fossil site, at Wet Cave and Blanche Cave.

The statistical model, in conjunction with traditional radiocarbon dating, provides greater accuracy than carbon dating along, as there can often be information gaps on the age of individual sedimentary layers.

Ms Macken said the overarching aim of her research was to understand if and how the community of small mammals living within the region of the caves changed through the last glacial cycle.

Commenting on her collaboration with researchers from the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit at Oxford University, Ms Macken said “it was a wonderful project to be involved with because I was not only working with my supervisor here at Flinders who is a world-leading palaeontologist but researchers on the other side of the world.”

The Naracoorte Caves System is a World Heritage Area.

Link to Amy Macken’s Paper.

Flinders School of Biological Sciences.

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