• Cosmic Background Reduction in the Radiocarbon Measurement By Scintillation Spectrometry at the Underground Laboratory of Gran Sasso

      Plastino, Wolfango; Kaihola, Lauri; Bartolomei, Paolo; Bella, Francesco (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      Radiocarbon measurements by two 1220 Quantulus(TM) ultra low background liquid scintillation spectrometers were performed at the underground laboratory of Gran Sasso and the Radiocarbon Laboratory of E.N.E.A.-Bologna to study the efficiency and background variations related to measurement sites. The same configuration setup, i.e. The same center of gravity of the 14C spectrum (SQP(I) = 410 +/1) was obtained in both instruments. Many different background and modern standards with pure analytical benzene were used and spectra for 40 one-hour periods were obtained. The data indicates a background reduction of approximately 65% between the surface and underground laboratories, with no differences in the efficiency. Recording similar efficiencies in both spectrometers is probably due to fairly identical photomultiplier characteristics. The cosmic noise reduction observed at the laboratory of Gran Sasso makes it possible to perform high precision 14C measurements and to extend for these idealized samples the present maximum dating limit from 58,000 BP to 62,000 BP (5 mL, 3 days counting).