Browsing Radiocarbon, Volume 31, Number 2 (1989) by Subjects
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Correcting 14C Histograms for the Non-Linearity of the 14C Time ScaleLarge numbers of 14C dates of the base and top of Holocene peat layers may be plotted in 14C histograms in order to establish statistically a chronology of periods of essentially elastic sedimentation and peat formation. Due to the non-linearity of the 14C time scale in terms of calendar years, clustering of 14C dates on random peat growth may occur. This seriously hampers the interpretation of histograms. A quantitative method and computer program were developed to correct the histograms for this effect. The correction factor that has to be applied depends on the calibration curve and the interval width of the correction parameter dy. For peat samples, an interval width of 100 14C yr and a calibration curve based on a 100-yr moving average seems to be a reasonable choice.