Speed dating: a rapid way to determine the radiocarbon age of wood by EA-AMS

Sookdeo, A., Wacker, L., Fahrni, S., McIntyre P., C. , Friedrich, M., Reinig, F., Nievergelt, D., Tegel, W., Kromer, B. and Büntgen, U. (2017) Speed dating: a rapid way to determine the radiocarbon age of wood by EA-AMS. Radiocarbon, 59(3), pp. 933-939. (doi:10.1017/RDC.2016.76)

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Abstract

Radiocarbon measurements in tree rings can be used to estimate atmospheric 14C concentration and thereby used to create a 14C calibration curve. When wood is discovered in construction sites, rivers, buildings, and lake sediments, it is unclear if the wood could fill gaps in the 14C calibration curve or if the wood is of historical interest until the age is determined by dendrochronology or 14C dating. However, dendrochronological dating is subjected to many requirements and 14C dating is costly and time consuming, both of which can be frivolous endeavors if the samples are not in the age range of interest. A simplified 14C dating technique, called Speed Dating, was thus developed. It can be used to quickly obtain 14C ages as wood samples are neither chemically treated nor graphitized. Instead, wood is combusted in an elemental analyzer (EA) and the CO2 produced is carried into an accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) with a gas ion source. Within a day, 75 samples can be measured with uncertainties between 0.5–2% depending on the age, preservation, and contaminants on the material and Speed Dating costs about one-third of conventional AMS dates.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Selected Papers from the 2015 Radiocarbon Conference, Dakar, Senegal, 16–20 November 2015
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mcintyre, Dr Cameron
Authors: Sookdeo, A., Wacker, L., Fahrni, S., McIntyre P., C., Friedrich, M., Reinig, F., Nievergelt, D., Tegel, W., Kromer, B., and Büntgen, U.
College/School: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:09 September 2016

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