• Radiocarbon Dating with the University of Washington Accelerator Mass Spectrometry System

      Grootes, Pieter M.; Stuiver, Minze; Farwell, George W.; Leach, Donald D.; Schmidt, Fred H. (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      The University of Washington FN tandem accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) system has been used in a series of 14C studies. 1) The 14C concentrations in annual growth rings for 1962, 1963, and 1964 of a Sitka spruce, each divided into ten sequential segments, were measured; a full and rapid response of tree-ring cellulose to atmospheric changes in 14CO2 is indicated, with a delay, if any, of not more than three weeks. 2) The 14C concentrations in two chemical fractions of dissolved organic carbon and in two fractions (by size) of particulate organic carbon were measured for Amazon River samples from several locations. All contain bomb carbon, but the amounts differ significantly. 3) Algae samples from lakes in the dry valleys of Antarctica were dated in order to assist in the reconstruction of the climatic history of Antarctica. 4) Background studies indicate that the contribution of the AMS system itself to the observed 14C concentrations is equivalent to an age of ca 60,000 14C yr BP; for a prepared sample of 5mg of carbon the background corresponds to ca 50,000 years.