• Validity of 14C Ages of Carbonates in Sediments

      Chen, Yijian; Polach, Henry (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      This review is based on geologic surveys carried out in Australia and China as well as on more than 300 14C dates published in Radiocarbon. Evaluated are the origins and pathways of carbonate formation, stable isotopic composition, carbonate nodule growth rates and paleo-climatic effects. The three identified delta-13C abundance peaks are unrelated to environment and carbon source whilst 14C ages group themselves into periods corresponding to past humid warm climate. It is concluded that the major error in caliche dating is due to incorporation of old limestone whilst error on nodule dating is related to their slow growth rate. Thus, caliche antedates and nodules postdate the times of their deposition. delta-13C values cannot be used to correct for limestone or atmospheric contamination effects