• Ultra-Small Carbon Samples and the Dating of Sediments

      Vogel, J. S.; Briskin, Madeleine; Nelson, D. E.; Southon, J. R. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1989-01-01)
      Radiocarbon dates from sediment core samples are usually obtained on the whole organic carbon portion in order to use as little of the valuable sediment as possible. Such measurements may not result in an accurate chronology of the sediment because the material may include carbon from different reservoirs at the time of deposition. The development of AMS techniques for dating ultra-small (20-500 micrograms) carbon samples permits dating various components of cored sediments. We give examples of physical and chemical fractions of sediments which illustrate the large differences in ages obtainable from materials at the same sediment depth. The dating of all or several of these fractions demands more complex interpretations than just the derivation of a sedimentation rate from whole organic carbon dates.