• Author Index Volume 41, 1999

      Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01
    • Book Review: From Hiroshima to the Iceman: The Development and Applications of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Harry E. Gove

      Kutschera, Walter (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01)
    • Calculation of Past Dead Carbon Proportion and Variability by the Comparison of AMS 14C and TIMS U/Th Ages on Two Holocene Stalagmites

      Genty, Dominique; Massault, Marc; Gilmour, Mabs; Baker, Andy; Verheyden, Sophie; Keppens, Eddy (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01)
      Twenty-two radiocarbon activity measurements were made by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) on 2 Holocene stalagmites from Belgium (Han-stm lb) and from southwest France (Vil-stm lb). Sixteen thermal ionization mass spectrometric (TIMS) U/Th measurements were performed parallel to AMS analyses. The past dead carbon proportion (dcp) due to limestone dissolution and old soil organic matter (SOM) degradation is calculated with U/Th ages, measured calcite 14C activity and atmospheric 14C activity from the dendrochronological calibration curves. Results show that the dcp is different for the 2 stalagmites: between 10,800 and 4780 yr from present dcp = 17.5% (sigma = 2.4; n = 10) for Han-stm lb and dcp = 9.4% (sigma = 1.6; n = 6) between 3070 and 520 yr for Vil-stmlb. Despite a broad stability of the dcp during the time ranges covered by each sample, a slight dcp increase of about 5.0% is observed in the Han-stmlb sample between 8500 and 5200 yr. This change is synchronous with a calcite delta-13C increase, which could be due to variation in limestone dissolution processes possibly linked with a vegetation change. The dcp and delta-13C of the 2 studied samples are compared with 5 other modern stalagmites from Europe. Results show that several factors intervene, among them: the vegetation type, and the soil saturation leading to variable dissolution process systems (open/closed). The good correlation (R2 = 0.98) between the U/Th ages and the calibrated 14C ages corrected with a constant dcp validates the 14C method. However, the dcp error leads to large 14C age errors (i.e. 250-500 yr for the period studied), which is an obstacle for both a high-resolution chronology and the improvement of the 14C calibration curves, at least for the Holocene.
    • Comments on "America's Oldest Basketry"

      Connolly, Thomas J.; Cannon, William J. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01)
      A recent publication on directly dated basketry specimens from the western United States (Berger et al. 1998, Radiocarbon 40(2):615-20) contained some misleading information, and in a few cases discussed radiocarbon ages from unacknowledged sources. We provide the missing original citations along with some clarifications. We focus especially on the age of distinctive Fort Rock and Multiple Warp-style sandals, for which we provide additional previously unreported 14C ages. Direct dates on fibers from Fort Rock sandals from 3 different sites range in age from 10,500 cal BP to about 9200 cal BP. Contextual evidence suggests that Multiple Warp sandals may date as early as 6600 cal BP, but the few directly dated specimens are less than 1000 yr old.
    • Comparing Carbonate and Organic AMS-14C Ages in Lake Abiyata Sediments (Ethiopia): Hydrochemistry and Paleoenvironmental Implications

      Gibert, Elisabeth; Travi, Yves; Massault, Marc; Chernet, Tesfaye; Barbecot, Florent; Laggoun-Défarge, Fatima (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01)
      We studied a 12.6-m-long sequence from Lake Abiyata (Central Ethiopia) to establish a reliable and accurate chronology for use in global paleoclimatic reconstructions. The 26 accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon (AMS 14C) ages, performed on carbonates and organic matter, define 2 parallel chronologies, representing the complete Holocene period. However, these chronologies show a significant discrepancy from 500 to 900 BP in depth; ages obtained on carbonates were always older than those on organic matter. The hydrogeological and geochemical behavior of the Lake Abiyata basin has shed light on this discrepancy. We found that the carbonate crystallization is due mainly to the mixing of lake waters with ground-waters from the multi-layered aquifer contained in the 600-m-thick basement of the lake. The 14C activity of total dissolved inorganic carbon (TDIC) measured by AMS from bottom and surface lake waters (111.4 and 111.8 pMC, respectively) confirms that the mixing occurs at the water-sediment interface. This evidence of groundwater participation in the carbonate crystallization calls into question the current paleoclimatic reconstructions based on inorganic carbonates in lakes. Specific attention should thus be given to the respective proportions of each end-member in the mixing for the quantitative estimation of the groundwater input. This will help to validate the paleoenvironmental reconstructions and to highlight an eventual diagenetical evolution of inorganic carbonates during burial, via the study of pore waters.
    • Dating Organic Temper of Ceramics by AMS: Sample Preparation and Carbon Evaluation

      Gomes, Denise C.; Vega, Oscar (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01)
      We describe a new methodology for separating organic temper from archaeological ceramics from Brazilian Amazonia. These experimental procedures were designed to directly date ceramic samples by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). An evaluation of the total carbon indicates the samples' potential for dating.
    • Ede Hertelendi (1950-1999)

      Svingor, Éva (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01)
    • Editorial Board

      Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01
    • From the Editor

      Jull, A. J. T. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01)
    • From the Managing Editor

      Sewell, David (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01)
    • Radiocarbon Analysis of Pinus lagunae Tree Rings: Implications for Tropical Dendrochronology

      Biondi, Franco; Fessenden, Julianna E. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01)
      A promising species for tropical dendrochronology is Pinus lagunae, a pine tree found in Baja California Sur (Mexico) around lat 23.5 degrees N. In 1995, we sampled a total of 27 wood cores from 13 Pinus lagunae trees in Sierra La Victoria (23 degrees 36'N, 109 degrees 56'W), just north of Sierra La Laguna, at an elevation of 1500-1600 m. Selected trees were locally dominant, but their ring-width patterns could not be crossdated. To test the hypothesis that visible growth layers in Pinus lagunae are formed annually, we measured radiocarbon amounts in individual rings by means of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Twenty-three 14C measurements were used to trace the location of the 1963-64 "bomb spike" in 3 wood increment cores. By comparing the location of that Delta-14C extreme with the number of visible radial wood increments, it was possible to conclude that 2 cores had a number of locally absent rings, while the 3rd one included a few years with more than one growth layer. Therefore, ring-width patterns of sampled Pinus lagunae were not consistent from one tree to another, most likely because of climatic regime in combination with microsite features. While the possibility of generating Pinus lagunae tree-ring chronologies cannot entirely be ruled out, the development of dendrochronological proxy records of climate from coniferous species in tropical North America should focus on species and sites that experience a more pronounced seasonality.
    • Radiocarbon Laboratories

      Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01
    • Radiocarbon Updates

      Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01
    • Radiocarbon, Volume 41, Number 3 (1999)

      Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01
    • Reporting 14C Activities and Concentrations

      Mook, Willem G.; van der Plicht, Johannes (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01)
      Three modes of reporting 14C activities are in use, in part analogous to the internationally accepted (IAEA) conventions for stable isotopes: (1) absolute activity, the specific activity of 14C or the activity per gram of carbon; (2) activity ratio, the ratio between the absolute activities of a sample and the standard; and (3) relative activity, the difference between the absolute activities of a sample and standard material, relative to the absolute standard activity. The basic definitions originate from decisions made by the radiocarbon community at its past conferences. Stuiver and Polach (1977) reviewed and sought to specify the definitions and conventions. Several colleagues, however, have experienced inadequacies and pitfalls in the definitions and use of symbols. Furthermore, the latter have to be slightly amended because of the use of modern measuring techniques. This paper is intended to provide a consistent set of reporting symbols and definitions, illustrated by some practical examples.
    • Subject Index Volume 41, 1999

      Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01
    • The Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Stick-Nest Rat Middens in Australia

      Pearson, Stuart; Lawson, Ewan; Head, Lesley; McCarthy, Lynne; Dodson, John (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01)
      The spatial and temporal distribution of 145 radiocarbon dates on 66 Australian stick-nest rat middens (Muridae: Leporillus spp.) range from modern to 10,900 +/90 BP. As in American packrat middens, age frequency follows a logarithmic decay, both continentally and at major sites. This is probably a result of natural decay processes. Unlike American middens of similar age, relatively few range changes in plant distribution have been detected in Australia. The distribution of 14C ages and the associated midden materials provide important paleoenvironmental information from the arid interior of Australia. The middens record subtle changes in vegetation and dramatic changes in the fauna unlike those interpreted from sites on the coastal rim or the southeastern periphery of the arid zone.