• Is Classical Acid-Alkali-Acid Treatment Responsible for Contamination? An Alternative Proposition

      Hatté, Christine; Morvan, Jean; Noury, Claude; Paterne, Martine (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      It is well known that, during the widely used AAA pretreatment (de Vries and Barendsen 1954), alkali treatment is responsible for the incorporation of modern carbon due to the precipitation of atmospheric CO2 as carbonate. Until now, the last step of the experiment, consisting in acid treatment (most of the time with hydrochloric acid) was considered to be sufficient to eliminate all of lab contamination. But wood, peat and sediment present a complex molecular structure. During radiocarbon chemical treatments, functional groups still present in the molecules are likely to form ionic bonds with “modern” carbonates. These new chemical bonds resist a “classical” acid treatment and are responsible for rejuvenation. This short paper presents preliminary results for two common 14C cases: rejuvenation of a 0.4 pMC wood and of an Oxygen Isotope Stage 3 (OIS3) paleosol. For both cases, contamination due to incorporation of modern carbon during chemical treatment is evaluated and an alternative protocol is proposed.
    • Searching Solar Periodicities in the Late Glacial Record of Atmospheric Radiocarbon

      Goslar, Tomasz; Tisnérat,-Laborde, Nadine; Paterne, Martine (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      Accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon (AMS 14C) dating of the late glacial section of laminated sediments from Lake Gościąż and Lake Perespilno, Poland, performed with time resolution of 20-30 years suggests quasi-periodic oscillations of Delta-14C. The regularity of oscillations has been checked by the Maximum Entropy and Fast Fourier Transform methods (MEM and FFT), which revealed peaks at 200 and 230 yr. These periods are similar to those found in the high-precision Holocene Delta-14C record, and attributed to the changing sun. The analytical assessment of the significance of the FFT and MEM peaks is problematic because of non-uniform spacing and various uncertainties in the input data. The significance of the peaks has therefore been studied by the Monte-Carlo method. Because the original data were approximated with a spline function, the amplitude of the MEM and FFT peaks depends on the stiffness of the spline, which is strongly related to the "real" uncertainty of 14C ages. The Monte-Carlo experiments demonstrate that the significance levels of the MEM and FFT peaks also depend on the spline stiffness. Therefore, the existence of solar 14C variations in the Late Glacial remains an open question.