• 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.
    • 14C Wiggle Matching of the 'Floating' Tree-Ring Chronology from the Altai Mountains, Southern Siberia: The Ulkandryk-4 Case Study

      Slusarenko, I. Y.; Christen, J. A.; Orlova, L. A.; Kuzmin, Yaroslav V.; Burr, George S. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      The Bayesian approach to calibration of radiocarbon dates was used to wiggle-match the "floating" tree-ring chronology from a Pazyryk culture (Scythian-type complex from Sayan-Altai Mountain system, southern Siberia) burial ground in order to estimate the calendar age of its construction. Seventeen bidecadal tree-ring samples were 14C dated with high precision (+/20-30 yr). The results of wiggle-matching show that the Pazyryk-type burial mounds in the southern Altai Mountains were created in the first part of 3rd century BC.
    • 14C Wiggle-Match Dating in High-Resolution Sea-Level Research

      van de Plassche, O.; Edwards, E. J.; van der Borg, K.; de Jong, A. F. M. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      Comparison of two sets of marsh-accumulation records from each of three Connecticut (USA) salt marshes, one based on individually calibrated dates and the other on wiggle-match dating of the same series of dates, shows that wiggle-match dating results in more precise and objective reconstructions of longer-term (10^2-10^3 yr) changes in accumulation rate. On (sub-)century time scales, wiggle-match dating can reveal steps in the calibrated marsh-accumulation envelope as artefacts of the calibration curve, but may also leave real short-term changes in accumulation rate undetected. Wiggle-matches are non-unique, being dependent on the number, quality and distribution of radiocarbon dates in a sequence, how a series of dates is subdivided into groups (representing intervals of uniform accumulation rate), and what is considered a "best match". Samples from the studied salt-marsh deposits required no correction for reservoir effects prior to calibration.
    • A Marine Reservoir Data Correction Database and On-Line Interface

      Reimer, Paula J.; Reimer, Ron W. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      Calibration is essential for interpretation of radiocarbon dates, especially when the 14C dates are compared to historical or climatic records with a different chronological basis. 14C ages of samples from the marine environment, such as shells or fish bones, or samples with a marine component, such as human bone in coastal regions, require an additional consideration because of the reservoir age of the ocean. While the pre-industrial global mean reservoir correction, R(t), is about 400 years, local variations (Delta-R) can be several hundred years or more. Delta-R compilations on a global scale have been undertaken previously (Stuiver et al. 1986; Stuiver and Braziunas 1993), but have not been updated recently. Here we describe an on-line reservoir correction database accessed via mapping software. Rather than publishing a static Delta-R compilation, new data will be incorporated when it becomes available. The on-line marine reservoir correction database can be accessed at the website http://www.calib.org/.
    • New Methods and Critical Aspects in Bayesian Mathematics for 14C Calibration

      Steier, Peter; Rom, Werner; Puchegger, Stephan (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      The probabilistic radiocarbon calibration approach, which largely has replaced the intercept method in 14C dating, is based on the so-called Bayes' theorem (Bayes 1763). Besides single-sample calibration, Bayesian mathematics also supplies tools for combining 14C results of many samples with independent archaeological information such as typology or stratigraphy (Buck et al. 1996). However, specific assumptions in the "prior probabilities", used to transform the archaeological information into mathematical probability distributions, may bias the results (Steier and Rom 2000). A general technique for guarding against such a bias is "sensitivity analysis", in which a range of possible prior probabilities is tested. Only results that prove robust in this analysis should be used. We demonstrate the impact of this method for an assumed, yet realistic case of stratigraphically ordered samples from the Hallstatt period, i.e. The Early Iron Age in Central Europe.
    • Northwest Pacific Marine Reservoir Correction Estimated from Annually Banded Coral from Ishigaki Island, Southern Japan

      Hideshima, Shinichiro; Matsumoto, Eiji; Abe, Osamu; Kitagawa, Hiroyuki (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      We assessed marine reservoir age R(t) for the costal area of the northwest Pacific using radiocarbon measurements of the annually banded coral core (Porites sp) collected on Ishigaki Island in southern Japan. Reservoir age R(t) during the early 1900s at the Pacific coast of Ishigaki Island ranged between 290 and 455 14C yr, with a weighted mean of 355 +/25 14C yr (n=5, +/1 sigma). The regional-specific ∆R, defined as 14C age difference of regional and world ocean surface layer, was 35 +/25 14C yr (n=5, +/1 sigma) on average and increased between 1900 and 1950.
    • Preliminary Estimate of the Reservoir Age in the Lagoon of Venice

      Zoppi, Ugo; Albani, A.; Ammerman, A. J.; Hua, Quan; Lawson, E. M.; Serandrei Barbero, R. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      The Lagoon of Venice was formed about 6000 years ago due to the marine transgression associated with the late Pleistocene sea level rise. Already by the time of the Republic of Venice (727-1797 AD) it was recognized that the future of the city and its many historical buildings was strongly correlated with the future of the lagoon itself. During the centuries many engineering projects such as modification of the fluvial systems, construction of coastal barriers, and dredging of navigation channels were carried out to preserve the lagoonal environment. The present-day lagoon is the result of all these processes and covers an area of 540 km2 with an average depth of 0.6 m. A series of radiocarbon age determinations carried out on material obtained from cores collected in the Lagoon of Venice indicate within the sedimentary units the existence of a number of discontinuities and slumping events due to the highly active lagoonal environment. The evaluation of data obtained from a variety of different materials—both terrestrial and marine—allowed us to determine for the first time the marine reservoir effect in the lagoon of Venice. The discussion includes a comparison with other relevant measurements and a possible explanation to the relatively high reservoir age (1200-1300 yr).
    • Progress at the Seoul National University AMS Facility

      Kim, J. C.; Park, J. H.; Kim, I. C.; Lee, C.; Cheoun, M. K.; Kang, J.; Song, Y. M. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      The accelerator mass spectrometry facility at the Seoul National University (SNU-AMS) was completed in December 1998 and a report was presented at the Vienna AMS conference in September 1999. At the conference, we described the basic components of our accelerator system and reported the results of the performance test. Since then, extensive testing of the accuracy and reproducibility of the system has been carried out, and about 200 unknown samples have been measured so far. We obtained a precision of 4‰ for modern samples, and an accuracy of approximately 40 yr was demonstrated by analyzing samples that were previously dated with a conventional technique and by other AMS laboratories. We present these results here, together with detailed descriptions of our data-taking and analysis procedures.
    • Protocol Development for Purification and Characterization of Sub-Fossil Insect Chitin for Stable Isotopic Analysis and Radiocarbon Dating

      Hodgins, Gregory W. L.; Thorpe, J. L.; Coope, G. R.; Hedges, Robert E. M. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      Reliable radiocarbon dating depends upon well-defined samples. We have been investigating whether or not reliable 14C dates can be obtained directly from sub-fossil insect cuticle or biochemical fractions derived from it. Initial carbon and nitrogen stable isotope measurements on sub-fossil insect chitin from species with known feeding behaviors found within a single site (St Bees, Cumbria) clustered in a manner reminiscent of trophic level effects seen in terrestrial ecosystems. Although this finding implied some chemical stability, the measurement of CN ratios from the same samples indicated compositional variability. In addition, 14C dates obtained from these same samples were different from dates obtained from plant macrofossils found at the same depth. We have experimented with protocols designed to biochemically reduce chitin to its principle carbohydrate component glucosamine with the aim of using this compound to generate reliable 14C dates. Solvent extractions of sub-fossil chitin were carried out to remove both endogenous and exogenous lipid-soluble materials. Base hydrolysis reactions designed to extract polypeptides retained surprisingly high levels of contaminating amino acids. Proteinase K enzyme treatment had little affect on the level of amino acid contamination. Strong acid hydrolysis reactions designed to depolymerize chitin to glucosamine yielded only 5% glucosamine. Clearly alternative methods of chitin depolymerization must be identified before the purification and 14C dating of glucosamine from sub-fossil chitin becomes practical.
    • A Special Dedication to Israel Carmi

      Boaretto, Elisabetta (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
    • Chemical Removal of Conservation Substances By 'Soxhlet'-Type Extraction

      Bruhn, Frank; Duhr, Alexander; Grootes, Pieter M.; Mintrop, Annette; Nadeau, Marie-Josée (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      At the Leibniz radiocarbon lab, art and archaeological objects, often chemically conserved and thus potentially contaminated with respect to their 14C content, are treated using a computer-controlled “Soxhlet”-type series extractor. This device uses a continuous procedure of boiling and condensation of different solvents for extraction and vacuum filtration under constant process conditions. An elutrope sequence of five solvents that dissolve most customary conservation chemicals was selected. A study of these different contaminants applied to reference wood samples with subsequent accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurements demonstrates that their effective removal is dependent on the use of adequate solvents. For many contaminants (e.g. Wood glue, methyl cellulose, Klucel(R), sugar, and polyethylene glycol), routine acid-alkali-acid (AAA) treatment already yields satisfactory results, whereas for Caparol(R) and beeswax a relatively “mild” treatment with acetone, methanol, water, and subsequent standard AAA extraction is sufficient. Complete removal of rubber glue, epoxyresin, and paraffin can only be accomplished with our full set of solvents. The latter procedure is also appropriate when no or only incomplete information about the type of conservation material is available. For epoxy resin the contamination appears to be enriched in the alkali residue, and the easily soluble “humic acid” fraction, even after standard AAA treatment, gives satisfactory results. Two case studies on the application of the extraction procedures are presented.
    • Is Comparability of 14C Dates an Issue?: A Status Report on the Fourth International Radiocarbon Intercomparison

      Bryant, C.; Carmi, I.; Cook, G. T.; Gulliksen, S.; Harkness, D. D.; Heinemeier, J.; McGee, E.; Naysmith, P.; Possnert, G.; Scott, E. M.; et al. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      For more than 15 years, the radiocarbon community has participated in a series of laboratory intercomparisons in response to the issue of comparability of measurements as perceived within the wider user communities (Scott et al. 1990; Rozanski et al. 1992; Gulliksen and Scott 1995; Scott et al. 1997). In this report, we provide an update on the current 14C laboratory intercomparison and reflect on future issues linked to the laboratory intercomparison program, not least those resulting from a significant growth in the number of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facilities providing routine dating of small samples (milligram size).
    • PRIME Lab Sample Handling and Data Analysis for Accelerator-Based Biomedical Radiocarbon Analysis

      Hillegonds, Darren J.; Record, Rae; Rickey, Frank A.; Badylak, Steve; Jackson, George S.; Simmons-Byrd, Abby; Elmore, David; Lipschutz, Michael E. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      Processing and measurement of 200 biomedical samples has provided an opportunity to better understand the characteristics of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) analysis of such samples. We have utilized established procedures (Vogel 1992) and developed new methods for handling various biological samples. We have included secondary standards of known isotope ratio for all assays. A method of determining maximum precision for each unknown sample value is also reported. The presented data are an update of the ongoing radiocarbon AMS biomedical program at Purdue University.
    • Marine Radiocarbon Reservoir Effect in the Western North Pacific Observed in Archaeological Fauna

      Yoneda, Minoru; Hirota, Masashi; Uchida, Masao; Uzawa, Kazuhiro; Tanaka, Atsushi; Shibata, Yasuyui; Morita, Masatoshi (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      Faunal remains originating from terrestrial and marine mammals, and belonging to the same archaeological deposits were compared to evaluate the marine radiocarbon reservoir ages around the Hokkaido island, Japan. From five shell middens of different ages from the Jomon period (4900 BP) to the Ainu cultural period (800 BP), 107 animal bone samples were selected for radiocarbon measurements. The apparent age differences between Japanese deer and northern fur seal showed the clear effect of deep-water upwelling in this region. Our data showed relatively stable age differences from 4500 BP to 800 BP, with an estimated Delta-R values around 380 14C yr. Results are consistent with previous estimation based on simulation models and oceanographic properties.
    • An Improvement in Preparation of Mortar for Radiocarbon Dating

      Sonninen, E.; Jungner, H. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      An error source in radiocarbon dating of ancient mortar is dead carbon of limestone mixed in the matrix. To eliminate the influence of limestone the difference in feasibility to react with acid between mortar and limestone is used. Since the rate of reaction depends on grain size use of a well-defined grain size can give a better separation between mortar and limestone. We present results for the grain size dependence of reaction rates for several mortar and limestone samples and discuss the application for dating.
    • Automatic AMS Sample Combustion and CO2 Collection

      Aerts-Bijma, A. T.; van der Plicht, J.; Meijer, H. A. J. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      In Groningen, all organic samples for accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) are combusted in an automatic Elemental Analyzer, coupled to an Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer and Cryogenic Trapping System. The Gas Chromatographic (GC) column, part of the Elemental Analyzer system, appeared to be the main cause for memory effects. Therefore we modified the Elemental Analyzer, such that the trapped CO2 no longer passed the GC column. Our system modification reduced the memory effect significantly, as shown by lower radiocarbon concentration values for anthracite backgrounds, and a much smaller spread in these values. Our modified system can perform up to 40 combustions unattended in about 6 hr.
    • Radiocarbon Dating of Wood Using Different Pretreatment Procedures: Application to the Chronology of Rotoehu Ash, New Zealand

      Santos, Guaciara M.; Bird, M. I.; Fifield, L. Keith; Alloway, B. V.; Chappell, J.; Hausladen, P. A.; Arneth, A. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      We compare radiocarbon accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) ages of wood samples subjected to a conventional acid-base-acid pretreatment with stepped combustion (ABA-SC) with results from the same samples subjected to an acid-base-wet oxidation pretreatment with stepped combustion (ABOX-SC) and cellulose extraction with stepped combustion (CE-SC). The ABOX-SC procedure has been shown previously to lead to lower backgrounds for old charcoal samples. Analyses of relatively uncontaminated " 14C-dead" samples of wood suggest that backgrounds of 0.11 +/0.04 pMC are obtainable for both the ABOX-SC and ABA-SC procedures. Where wood is significantly contaminated the ABOX-SC technique provides significantly better decontamination than either the ABA-SC technique or cellulose extraction alone, although CE-SC can produce comparably low backgrounds to the ABOX-SC procedure. We also report the application of the ABOX-SC, ABA-SC and CE-SC procedures to wood samples associated with the chronologically controversial Rotoehu Ash eruption, New Zealand. New 14C-AMS dates from wood sampled from below the Rotoehu Ash span an age range of 43-50 ka BP consistent with recently presented OSL dates of 42-44 ka obtained for palaeosols beneath the ash.
    • The Future of the Past

      Hedges, Robert E. M. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
    • Solar Activity and Regional Climate

      Ogurtsov, M. G.; Kocharov, Grant E.; Lindholm, M.; Eronen, M.; Nagovitsyn, Yu A. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      We performed a statistical analysis of the data on summer temperature anomalies in northern Fennoscandia (8-1995 AD) and found that a 70-130-yr cycle is present in this series during most of the time period. A comparison of the reconstructed northern Fennoscandia temperature with different indicators of solar activity (Wolf numbers, the length of solar Schwabe cycle, extended bi-decadal radiocarbon series, and data on sunspots observed by naked eye) shows that the more probable cause of the periodicity is the modulation of regional northern Fennoscandia climate by the long-term solar cycle of Gleissberg. The effect of this century-scale solar modulation of the global Northern Hemisphere temperature is weaker.
    • Accelerator Mass Spectrometry at High Voltage Engineering Europa (HVEE)

      Gottdang, A.; Klein, M.; Mous, D. J. W. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      In recent years, High Voltage Engineering Europa (HVEE) has demonstrated its capability of developing and installing turnkey accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) equipment for the analysis of, among others, 14C and 129I. Five 3MV systems using sequential and/or simultaneous injection are operational in the field today, and they have shown excellent long-term stability providing high-precision analyses on a routine basis. Another three AMS systems are in production. It is projected that for the time being, AMS will continue to broaden its field of applications; a saturation of the market of AMS facilities is not expected in the near future. To meet the specific demands of the biomedical research community, we have developed an extreme compact 14C AMS system comprising a hybrid ion source capable of handling both graphite as well as CO2 samples. The source is optimized for easy maintenance, accommodates up to 200 samples, and can be implemented in any other AMS system. More recently, HVEE has initiated the development of an AMS system capable of detecting, among others, 36Cl and 41Ca. The design will include a HVEE 5MV Tandetron(TM). The accelerator is currently under construction as part of an ion beam analysis system for the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain).