Problems encountered with the 14c dating of peat

K.), AC(DGNERC Radiocarbon Laboratory East Kilbride, Glasgow G75 OQU, U.K.) Pairs of neighbouring short columns of peat from two sites in Northern England were divided into contiguous 1 cm thick slices that were sub-sampled for pollen and plant macro fossil analysis.There can be problems encountered when dating cores (organic sediment fraction) that have been stored for long periods of time depending on the storage conditions.When cores are stored damp, contaminants like mold, mildew and other fungus can thrive and grow in the cores thereby introducing new carbon.

There may be several reasons besides dissolved carbonates in hard-water lakes.

The fulvic acid fraction, although normally younger than the corresponding humic acid and humin fractions, has very little effect on a combined date in these samples.

However, it is removed from all samples prior to dating in order to remove any carbonates which could contaminate samples.

Such contamination can sometimes be traced via different fractions extracted mechanically or chemically.

The accelerator technique has made it possible to date small samples and thus macrofossils can be selected as the material to be used for dating far more frequently than is possible with the conventional technique for activity measurement.

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The wrapped core should then be kept solidly frozen in a sub-zero freezer.

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