Investigation of the analytical F14C bone background value at SUERC

Dunbar, E. , Naysmith, P., Cook, G.T., Scott, E.M. , Xu, S. and Tripney, B.G. (2017) Investigation of the analytical F14C bone background value at SUERC. Radiocarbon, 59(5), pp. 1463-1473. (doi:10.1017/RDC.2017.67)

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Abstract

The SUERC Radiocarbon Laboratory employs a one-step “background subtraction” method when calculating 14C ages. An interglacial wood (VIRI Sample K) is employed as the non-bone organic background standard, while a mammoth bone (LQH12) from Latton Quarry is used as the bone background standard. Results over several years demonstrate that the bone background is consistently around a factor of two higher and more variable than the wood background. As a result, the uncertainty on routine bone measurements is higher than for other sample types. This study investigates the factors that may contribute to the difference in F14C values and the higher variability. Preparations of collagen using modified Longin or ultrafiltration methods show no significant difference, nor does eliminating the collagen dissolution step. Two bone samples of known infinite age with respect to radiocarbon are compared and again no significant difference is observed. Finally, the quantity and age of the organic matter in the water used during the pretreatment is investigated and it is shown that there is insufficient organic matter in the reverse osmosis water to influence background values significantly. The attention is now on determining if incomplete demineralization could lead to contaminants being retained by the phosphate in the hydroxyapatite.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Tripney, Dr Brian and Scott, Professor E Marian and Naysmith, Mr Philip and Dunbar, Dr Elaine and Xu, Dr Sheng and Cook, Professor Gordon
Authors: Dunbar, E., Naysmith, P., Cook, G.T., Scott, E.M., Xu, S., and Tripney, B.G.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Statistics
College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Radiocarbon
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0033-8222
ISSN (Online):1945-5755
Published Online:11 August 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona
First Published:First published in Radiocarbon 59(5): 1463-1473
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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