Seasonal Fluctuation of Stable Carbon Isotopic Composition in Japanese Cypress Tree Rings from the Last Glacial Period—Possibility of Paleoenvironment Reconstruction
accelerator mass spectra
last glacial maximum
C 13 C 12
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CitationTakahashi, H. A., Yonenobu, H., Nakamura, T., & Wada, H. (2001). Seasonal fluctuation of stable carbon isotopic composition in Japanese cypress tree rings from the last glacial period—possibility of paleoenvironment reconstruction. Radiocarbon, 43(2A), 433-438.
DescriptionFrom the 17th International Radiocarbon Conference held in Jerusalem, Israel, June 18-23, 2000.
AbstractSeasonal variations of delta-13C were analyzed for two Japanese cypress trees (Chamaecyparis obtusa), one buried and one living. Both trees were different in age but sampled in areas geographically close to each other in central Japan. A buried cypress with 394 annual rings was excavated from Old Fuji mudflow, the last glacial strata of the dormant Mt. Fuji volcano. The accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon date of this glacial sample was 18,600 +/120 BP (NUTA-4884). A living tree stem, which has 192 rings, was cut from the Izu Peninsula in 1986. In order to measure the seasonal delta-13C fluctuation, the tree rings were divided equally into three earlywood and one or two latewood consecutive sections. The delta-13C value within an annual ring generally increased from the first to the third or fourth sections then decreased in the last section. This pattern of the variation was similar in the glacial and modern samples. The delta-13C value within an annual ring seems to be controlled by environmental factors (not plant physiological ones), since there was no isotopic shift in the seasonal delta-13C variation at the earlywood-latewood boundary, which was controlled by plant physiology. The result suggests the potential to reconstruct the paleoenvironment within a year using the seasonal delta-13C variation, though site-specific conditions such as soil characteristics would also affect to its fluctuation.
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Iron-Manganese System for Preparation of Radiocarbon AMS Targets: Characterization of Procedural Chemical-Isotopic Blanks and FractionationVerkouteren, R. Michael; Klinedinst, Donna B.; Currie, Lloyd A. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1997-01-01)We report a practical system to mass-produce accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) targets with 10-100 micrograms carbon samples. Carbon dioxide is reduced quantitatively to graphite on iron fibers via manganese metal, and the Fe-C fibers are melted into a bead suitable for AMS. Pretreatment, reduction and melting processes occur in sealed quartz tubes, allowing parallel processing for otherwise time-intensive procedures. Chemical and isotopic (13C, 14C) blanks, target yields and isotopic fractionation were investigated with respect to levels of sample size, amounts of Fe and Mn, pretreatment and reduction time, and hydrogen pressure. With 7-day pretreatments, carbon blanks exhibited a lognormal mass distribution of 1.44 micrograms (central mean) with a dispersion of 0.50 micrograms (standard deviation). Reductions of 10 micrograms carbon onto targets were complete in 3-6 h with all targets, after correction for the blank, reflecting the 13C signature of the starting material. The 100 micrograms carbon samples required at least 15 h for reduction; shorter durations resulted in isotopic fractionation as a function of chemical yield. The trend in the 13C data suggested the presence of kinetic isotope effects during the reduction. The observed CO2-graphite 13C fractionation factor was 3-4% smaller than the equilibrium value in the simple Rayleigh model. The presence of hydrogen promoted methane formation in yields up to 25%. Fe-C beaded targets were made from NIST Standard Reference Materials and compared with graphitic standards. Although the 12C ion currents from the beads were one to two orders of magnitude lower than currents from the graphite, measurements of the beaded standards were reproducible and internally consistent. Measurement reproducibility was limited mainly by Poisson counting statistics and blank variability, translating to 14C uncertainties of 5-1% for 10-100 micrograms carbon samples, respectively. A bias of 5-7% (relative) was observed between the beaded and graphitic targets, possibly due to variations in sputtering fractionation dependent on sample size, chemical form and beam geometry.
On Correcting 14C Ages of Gastropod Shell Carbonate for FractionationPigati, Jeffrey S. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)Correcting the 14C age of a sample for fractionation is straightforward if the measured carbon was derived entirely from the atmosphere, either directly or through chemical and/or biological reactions that originated with atmospheric carbon. This correction is complicated in the case of gastropods that incorporate carbon from limestone or secondary carbonate (e.g. Soil carbonate) during shell formation. The carbon isotopic composition of such gastropod shells is determined by fractionation, as well as mixing of carbon from sources with different isotopic values. Only the component of shell carbonate derived from atmospheric carbon should be corrected for fractionation. In this paper, the author derives a new expression for correcting the measured 14C activity of gastropod shells for fractionation, and describe an iterative approach that allows the corrected 14C activity and the fraction of shell carbonate derived from atmospheric carbon to be determined simultaneously.
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