• Archaeologic Sherd Dating: Comparison of Thermoluminescence Dates with Radiocarbon Dates by Beta Counting and Accelerator Techniques

      Johnson, R. A.; Stipp, J. J.; Tamers, M. A.; Bonani, Georges; Suter, Martin; Wölfli, Willy (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      Sherds can be dated by four independent methods. 14C beta counting on associated material, accelerator mass spectrometry on carbon traces on and within the sherd, thermoluminescence studies on minerals within the sherd, and stylistic form. Age analyses of materials and sherds from several sites are shown in this work. Each technique has its own frequently encountered non-laboratory sources of error. A combination of at least two independent techniques is indispensable for the highest level of confidence.
    • Background Measurements with Different Shielding and Anticoincidence Systems

      Loosli, H. H.; Forster, Markus; Otlet, R. L. (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      Extremely low background count rates are a necessary condition for both the measurement of 39Ar concentrations in ground and ocean water and of 14C activities in small samples using gas proportional counting techniques. A systematic comparison of the performance of three different designs of shielding systems in four different installations has been made. Background values of selected gas proportional counters were measured, compared and separated into their various components. Acceptably low backgrounds were obtained in all the systems tried. The performance of a Nail shield in a surface laboratory was found to be at least equal to the best obtained with a gas ariticoincidence detector in a deep underground laboratory.
    • Bomb Produced 14C Content in Tree Rings Grown at Different Latitudes

      Dai, Kai-Mei; Fan, C. Y. (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      The 14C content in 1961-1967 rings of each of three spruce pines grown at (68 degrees N, 130 degrees W), (47 degrees 30' N, 129 degrees 16' E) and (27 degrees 13' N,100 degrees 20' E) were measured. Delta-14C values of the three specimens rise dramatically from a common level (~250 per mil) in 1961 to their respective maxima, 964 per mil, 909 per mil, and 743 per mil in 1964 and then fall to a common level ~680 per mil in 1967. The observed Delta-14C increase comes most likely from the nuclear bomb test of the USSR at 75 degrees N in 1961, although there were many other tests since the 1950s. The different effects at different latitudes reflect the atmospheric circulation patterns in the stratosphere and the transport of 14C nuclei from the stratosphere to the troposphere.
    • Carbon Cycle: 1985 Glacial to Interglacial Changes in the Operation of the Global Carbon Cycle

      Broecker, Wallace S.; Peng, Tsung-Hung (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      The hottest topic for those interested in the earth's carbon cycles is the change in atmospheric CO2 content between glacial and interglacial time. What caused it? What is its role in glacial cycles? We evaluate here the hypotheses that have been put forward to explain the CO2 change with evidence from deep sea sediments. We conclude that all the hypotheses have serious drawbacks and that much effort will have to be expended in gathering more data from ice cores and ocean sediments before we will be pointed toward the correct scenario. Also, thoughtful modeling aimed at depicting the ties between pCO2, O2, 13C/12C, 14C/12C, and nutrient constituents in the sea for various modes of circulation will have to be done before the evidence from ocean cores can be properly interpreted.
    • Chemical Isotope Dilution for 14C AMS and the Potential for GC/AMS

      Gillespie, Richard (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
    • Dating of Holocene Stratigraphy with Soluble and Insoluble Organic Fractions at the Lubbock Lake Archaeological Site, Texas: An Ideal Case Study

      Haas, Herbert; Holliday, Vance; Stuckenrath, Robert (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      The Lubbock Lake site, on the Southern High Plains of Texas, contains one of the most complete and best-dated late Quaternary records in North America. A total of 117 14C dates are available from the site, determined by the Smithsonian and SMU Laboratories. Of these dates, 84 have been derived from residues (humin) and humates (humic acids) of organic-rich marsh sediments and A horizons of buried soils. Most of the ages are consistent with dates determined on charcoal and wood, and with the archaeologic and stratigraphic record. The dates on the marsh sediments are approximate points in time. Dates from the top of buried A-horizons are a maximum for burial and in many cases are close to the actual age of burial. Dates from the base of the A-horizons are a minimum for the beginning of soil formation, in some cases as much as several thousand years younger than the initiation of pedogenesis. A few pairs of dates were obtained from hurnin and humic acid derived from split samples; there are no consistencies in similarities or differences in these age pairs. It also became apparent that dates determined on samples from scraped trench walls or excavations that were left open for several years are younger than dates from samples taken from exactly the same locations when the sampling surfaces were freshly excavated.
    • Dating Polar Ice by 14C Accelerator Mass Spectormetry

      Andree, Michael; Beer, Jürg; Loetscher, H. P.; Moor, Ernst; Oeschger, Hans; Bonani, Georges; Hofmann, Hans Jakob; Morenzoni, Elvezio; Nessi, Marzio; Suter, Martin; et al. (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      Results of 14C/12C ratio measurements on CO2 extracted from air bubbles in polar ice are presented. The samples investigated originate from the Dye 3, South Greenland, deep ice core and span approximately the last 10,000 years. The results are calibrated with tree-ring records. The 14C ages are compared with information obtained from seasonal variations of ice-core parameters and rheologic model calculation.
    • Dendrochronology—The Absolute Irish Standard

      Brown, D. M.; Munro, M. R.; Baillie, M. G. L.; Pilcher, J. R. (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      Since the 11th International Radiocarbon Conference considerable advances have been made in European dendrochronology giving several long continuous absolute chronologies. Recent collaboration between European laboratories provides confirmation of the accuracy of these chronologies and, thus, of the standards used for radiocarbon calibration.
    • Detection of Bias in the Background of Vials Used for Scintillation Counting

      Ambers, Janet; Leese, Morven; Bowman, Sheridan (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      Inter-vial variation in background of the glass vials used in liquid scintillation counting can introduce appreciable errors into 14C measurements. Our aim was to measure the background in each of 50 glass vials, under the same conditions as far as possible, in order to find a self-consistent set for use in 14C dating. The criteria, statistical tests, and possible errors introduced by not making such checks are discussed.
    • Environmental 14C Levels Around the 632 MWe Nuclear Power Plant Krško in Yugoslavia

      Obelić, Bogomil; Krajcar-Bronić, Ines; Srdoč, Dušan; Horvatinčić, Nada (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      Measurements of 14C activity of atmospheric CO2, vegetables, and tree rings in the area of the 632 MWe power plant Krško in Slovenia, NW Yugoslavia, have been in progress since January, 1984. Sampling stations are located in the area ca 400km2 and are distributed in the direction of the prevailing westerly winds. The closest sampling point is 1.5km NE of the plant exhaust stack, the farthest sampling point is 30km E of the plant. A sampling site at National Park Plitvice in central Croatia was chosen as the 14C reference point not affected by the power plant. An average excess of 2.2% above the reference point activity during normal periods of reactor operation was observed 1.5km from the plant smokestack. Calculations of the 14C release from the power plant was estimated at 0.1 TBq/a. The tree ring activity near the plant followed the 14C activity of the Northern Hemisphere in the past decade. No influence of the power plant release was observed on the tree ring activity.
    • Establishment of a Working Data Base for the International Exchange of 14C Data Using Universal Transfer Formats

      Wilcock, J. D.; Otlet, R. L.; Walker, A. J.; Charlesworth, S. A.; Drodge, J. (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      A high-level record structure for the international communication of 14C data bases is proposed. The record structure is based on the high-level communication format first proposed by the authors at the 23rd International Symposium on Archaeometry, Naples, 1983 and does not require the abandonment of existing systems. A description is given of an implementation of the high-level system at Harwell, with examples of retrieval in an international format (the Radiocarbon date list format) and a keyword-organized local format.
    • Extension of the Holocene Dendrochronology by the Preboreal Pine Series, 8800 to 10,100 BP

      Becker, Bernd; Kromer, Bernd (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      Holocene tree-ring chronologies have been established for south-central Europe covering the past 11,000 years. The Hohenheim absolute oak chronology extends to 4089 BC. The 14C-calibrated mid-Holocene floating oak master covers a 3181-year period from ca 4045 to 7225 BC. The earliest well-replicated floating oak master (estimated calendar age 7215 to 7825 BC) extends the European oak dendrochronology back to Boreal times. Further extension of the Holocene dendrochronology has been achieved by subfossil oak and pine trees from the Rhine, Main, and Danube Rivers. A 774-year floating series of Preboreal pine has been established. 14C ages range (from younger to older end) from 9200 to 9800 BP. Within this series a major atmospheric 14C variation is indicated, resulting in nearly constant 14C ages (9600 BP) over a period of 370 tree-rings. The European oak and pine tree-ring chronologies cover without major gaps the entire Holocene epoch. Based on the length of the dendro-records, an approximate solar year age of 11,280 years is calculate for the Holocene/Pleistocene boundary. The Preboreal pine forests along the rivers were replaced by mixed oak forests between 9200 and 8800 BP. By linking the earliest oak masters and the Preboreal pine series, the European dendrochronology can be extended up to the end of Late Glacial times.
    • Fast and Complete CO2-to-Graphite Conversion for 14C Accelerator Mass Spectrometry

      Hut, Gert; Östlund, H. Göte; van der Borg, Klaas (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      With Fe powder as a catalyst, CO2 is completely converted to graphite within 90 minutes. The reaction proceeds at 650 degrees C with an excess of H2. The reaction rate is enlarged by forced circulation and by keeping the water vapor pressure very low. The graphite samples obtained, consisting of 5mg of carbon, almost immediately produce stable 12C- currents of the order of 20-30 micro-A in the sputter source of a Van de Graaff accelerator. The currents can be maintained for at least 10 hours and are comparable to those from commercial graphite. No memory effects in the preparation system have been observed.
    • Geomagnetic-Heliomagnetic Modulation of Atmospheric Radiocarbon Production

      Damon, Paul E.; Linick, Timothy W. (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      New Arizona high precision Delta-14C data back to 6500 BC plot close to an 11,300-yr period sinusoid extrapolated from the post 5300 BC data (offset = +32 per mil, half amplitude = 51 per mil and phase lag = 2.29 radians). The trend curve is modulated by high latitude components of the non-dipole field with a fundamental period of 2400 yr. Based upon a model of Lund and Banerjee (1985), the non-dipole field rotates and every 1200 yr the high latitude maxima pass over the north magnetic pole and near the south magnetic pole in reversed polarity. This modulates cosmic ray production producing extended maxima ca AD 1700, 700 BC, 3100 BC, and 5500 BC. The 2400 period appears to be stationary. The magnetic field also modulates the amplitude of the solar activity induced cycles of periods 200, 80, and 11 yr as can be seen in the Zürich-Bern Camp Century ice core data as well as in the Delta-14C fluctuation data. Reinterpretation of the Camp Century 10Be data indicates that it is in agreement with magnetic field as well as solar activity modulation of terrestrial radioisotope production.
    • Gif Natural Radiocarbon Measurements X

      Delibrias, Georgette; Guillier, M.-T.; Labeyrie, Jacques (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
    • Glassy Microspherules from Bomb Combustion of Charcoal

      Burleigh, Richard; Meeks, Nigel (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
    • Global and Local Effects of 14C Discharges from the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

      McCartney, Martin; Baxter, M. S.; McKay, Keith; Scott, E. Marian (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      The radiologic impact of 14C produced by the nuclear fuel cycle is assessed at both global and local levels. In the former context, it is predicted here that the specific activity of atmospheric CO2 in the year 2050 will be ca 7.6 pCig^(-1)C. Although this is similar to the present level, the subsequent collective dose commitment could be highly significant. The enhancement of 14C concentrations around the nuclear fuel-reprocessing plant at Sellafield (Windscale) in Cumbria, UK has been monitored over recent years. For example, maximum levels of 27.2 pCig^(-1)C (~350% above natural) during 1984 were observed <1 km from the plant, with enhanced activities detectable to at least 29km. Nevertheless, it is clear that the radiologic significance to the local population is low. The spatial distribution of the excess 14C allows atmospheric dispersion models to be tested in the context of continuous releases and the results thus far show that the Gaussian plume model performs successfully.
    • Groningen 14C Data Base

      Endelsman, F. M. R.; Taayke, E.; Mook, W. G. (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
    • High-Precision 14C Measurement of Irish Oaks to Show the Natural 14C Variations from AD 1840-5210 BC

      Pearson, Gordon W.; Pilcher, J. R.; Baillie, M. G. L.; Corbett, D. M.; Qua, F. (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      High-precision measurement of dendrochronologically dated Irish oak at bidecade/decade intervals has continued in the Belfast laboratory, extending the 14C data base from ca AD 1840 to 5210 Bc. The dendrochronology is now considered absolute (see Belfast dendrochronology this conference) (Brown et al, 1986) and a continuous detailed curve is presented, showing the natural variations in the atmospheric concentration of 14C over >7000 years. Each data point has a precision of <2.50 per mil, and some 4500 years have now been compared with Seattle, giving excellent agreement. Discussion of this data base and the justification of the claimed accuracy is given together with a comparison of other chronologies. Some of the advantages and limitations of the above are discussed.
    • High-Precision Calibration of the Radiocarbon Time Scale, 3930-3230 Cal BC

      De Jong, A. F. M.; Becker, Bernd; Mook, W. G. (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)