Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768dbb666b-6zkrn Total loading time: 0.343 Render date: 2023-02-07T06:35:06.231Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Article contents

Pretreatment of Terrestrial Macrofossils

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 February 2020

Margaret W Norris
Affiliation:
Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory, GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Jocelyn C Turnbull*
Affiliation:
Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory, GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand CIRES, University of Colorado at Boulder, CO, USA
Jamie D Howarth
Affiliation:
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Marcus J Vandergoes
Affiliation:
Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory, GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
*
*Corresponding author. Email: j.turnbull@gns.cri.nz.

Abstract

Acid-alkali-acid (AAA) pretreatment is widely used to clean terrestrial plant macrofossil samples for radiocarbon (14C) dating. There is wide variation amongst laboratories in the AAA method details and less rigorous AAA pretreatment is often used on fragile or small samples. Yet there is little evidence as to the efficacy of the different methods and whether the use of less rigorous methods is justified. We investigated four variations of AAA pretreatment: acid only (no alkali wash); room temperature AAA; “standard” AAA at 85°C; and “aggressive” AAA at 85°C with alkali washes repeated until no discoloration was detected. We tested six different terrestrial macrofossils from four different locations and ranging in age from mid-Holocene to the Last Glacial Maximum. Our results demonstrate that while acid only is not always sufficient to remove young material, there is no difference in 14C age of samples pretreated by any of the AAA variants. We also observed mass loss of 85–90% in the standard and aggressive AAA pretreatments, and much more modest mass loss in the room temperature AAA pretreatment. Therefore, we conclude that room temperature AAA pretreatment is optimal to remove contaminating material from fragile terrestrial macrofossils while retaining the majority of the authentic sample material.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2020 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Andree, M, Oeschger, H, Siegenthaler, U, Riesen, T, Moell, M, Ammann, B, Tobolski, K. 1986. 14C dating of plant macrofossils in lake sediment. Radiocarbon 28(2A):411416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baisden, WT, Prior, CA, Chambers, D, Canessa, S, Phillips, A, Bertrand, C, Zondervan, A, Turnbull, JC. 2013. Radiocarbon sample preparation and data flow at Rafter: Accommodating enhanced throughput and precision. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 294:194198.Google Scholar
Bradley, L-A, Stafford, TW. 1994. Comparison of manual and automated pretreatment methods for AMS radiocarbon dating of plant fossils. Radiocarbon 36(3):399405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brock, F, Higham, T, Ditchfield, P, Ramsey, CB. 2010. Current pretreatment methods for AMS radiocarbon dating at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU). Radiocarbon 52(1):103112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Callard, SL, Newnham, RM, Vandergoes, MJ, Alloway, BV, Smith, C. 2013. The vegetation and climate during the Last Glacial cold period, northern South Island, New Zealand. Quaternary Science Reviews 74:230244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clark, KJ, Hayward, B, Cochran, UA, Wallace, LM, Power, W, Sabaa, A. 2015. Evidence for past subduction earthquakes at a plate boundary with widespread upper plate faulting: Southern Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 105(3):16611690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cochran, UA, Clark, KJ, Howarth, JD, Biasi, GP, Langridge, RM, Villamor, P, Berryman, KR, Vandergoes, MJ. 2017. A plate boundary earthquake record from a wetland adjacent to the Alpine Fault in New Zealand refines hazard estimates. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 464:175188.Google Scholar
Crann, CA, Murseli, S, St-Jean, G, Zhao, X, Clark, ID, Kieser, WE. 2017. First status report on radiocarbon sample preparation techniques at the A.E. Lalonde AMS Laboratory (Ottawa, Canada). Radiocarbon 59(3):695704.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
De Vries, H, Barendsen, G. 1954. Measurements of age by the carbon–14 technique. Nature 174:11381141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Donahue, DJ, Linick, T, Jull, AT. 1990. Isotope-ratio and background corrections for accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon measurements. Radiocarbon 32(2):135142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dunbar, E, Cook, GT, Naysmith, P, Tripney, BG, Xu, S. 2016. AMS 14C dating at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory. Radiocarbon 58(1):923.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gaudinski, JB, Dawson, TE, Quideau, S, Schuur, EAG, Roden, JS, Trumbore, SE, Sandquist, DR, Oh, S-W, Wasylishen, RE. 2005. Comparative analysis of cellulose preparation techniques for use with 13C, 14C and 18O isotopic measurements. Analytical Chemistry 77(22):72127224.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hajdas, I, Bonani, G, Zolitschka, B, Brauer, A, Negendank, JF. 1998. 14C ages of terrestrial macrofossils from lago grande di monticchio (Italy). Radiocarbon 40(2):803807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hajdas, I, Hendriks, L, Fontana, A, Monegato, G. 2017. Evaluation of preparation methods in radiocarbon dating of old wood. Radiocarbon 59(3):727737.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hoper, S, McCormac, G, Hogg, AG, Higham, TF, Head, MJ. 1998. Evaluation of wood pretreatments on oak and cedar. Radiocarbon 40(4):4550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Howarth, JD, Fitzsimons, SJ, Norris, RJ, Langridge, RM, Vandergoes, MJ. 2016. A 2000 Yr rupture history for the Alpine Fault derived from Lake Ellery, South Island, New Zealand. Geological Society of America Bulletin 128(3–4):627643.Google Scholar
Kitigawa, H, Fukuzawa, H, Nakamura, T, Okamura, M, Takemura, K, Hayashida, A, Yasuda, Y. 1995. AMS 14C dating of varved sediments from lake Suigetsu, central Japan and atmospheric 14C change during the Late Pleistocene. Radiocarbon 37(2):371378.Google Scholar
Knowles, TDJ, Monaghan, PS, Evershed, RP. 2019. Radiocarbon sample preparation procedures and the first status report from the Bristol Radiocarbon AMS (BRAMS) Facility. Radiocarbon 61(5):15411550.Google Scholar
Kretschmer, W, Anton, G, Bergmann, M, Finckh, E, Kowalzik, B, Klein, M, Leigart, M, Merz, S, Morgenroth, G, Piringer, I. 1997. The Erlangen AMS facility: status report and research program. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 123:9396.Google Scholar
Maxwell, JJ, Howarth, JD, Vandergoes, MJ, Jacobsen, GE, Barber, IG. 2016. The timing and importance of arboriculture and agroforestry in a temperate East Polynesia Society, the Moriori, Rekohu (Chatham Island). Quaternary Science Reviews 149:306325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McGlone, MS, Bathgate, J. 1983. Vegetation and climate history of the Longwood Range, South Island, New Zealand; 12,000 BP to present. New Zealand Journal of Botany 21:293315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McWethy, DB, Whitlock, C, Wimshurst, JM, McGlone, MS, Fromont, M, Li, X, Dieffenbacher-Krall, AC. 2010. Rapid landscape transformation in South Island, New Zealand, following initial Polynesian settlement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(50):2134321348.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Newnham, RM, Vandergoes, MJ, Hendy, C, Lowe, DJ, Preusser, F. 2007. A terrestrial palynological record for the last two glacial cycles from southwestern New Zealand. Quaternary Science Reviews 26(3/4):517535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Oldfield, F, Crooks, PRJ, Harkness, DD, Petterson, G. 1997. AMS radiocarbon dating of organic fractions from varved lake sediments: An empirical test of reliability. Journal of Paleolimnology 18:8791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Olsson, IU. 1976. The importance of the pretreatment of wood and charcoal samples. In: Berger R, editor. 9th International Conference on Radiocarbon Dating, La Jolla, CA.Google Scholar
Olsson, IU. 1980. 14C in extractives in wood. Radiocarbon 22(2):515524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Olsson, IU. 1986. A study of errors in 14C dates of peat and sediment. Radiocarbon 28(2A):429435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Santos, GM, Southon, J, Griffin, S, Beaupre, S, Druffel, E. 2007. Ultra small-mass AMS 14C sample preparation and analyses at KCCAMS/UCI Facility. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 259(1):293302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Santos, GM, Ormsby, K. 2013. Behavioral variability in ABA chemical pretreatment close to the 14C age limit. Radiocarbon 55(02):534544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Southon, JR, Magana, AL. 2010. A comparison of cellulose extraction and ABA pretreatment methods for AMS 14C dating of ancient wood. Radiocarbon 52(3):13711379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stuiver, M, Polach, HA. 1977. Discussion: Reporting of 14C data. Radiocarbon 19(3):355363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Taylor, RE. 1987. Radiocarbon dating: An archaeological perspective. Orlando (FL): Academic Press, Inc.Google Scholar
Tornqvist, TE, Jong, D, Oosterbaan, WA, Borg, VD. 1992. Accurate dating of organic deposits by AMS 14C measurement of macrofossils. Radiocarbon 34(3):566577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Turnbull, JC, Zondervan, A, Kaiser, J, Norris, M, Dahl, J, Baisden, WT, Lehman, SJ. 2015. High-precision atmospheric 14CO2 measurement at the Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory. Radiocarbon 57(3):377388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Turner, G, Howarth, JD, de Gelder, G, Fitzsimons, SJ. 2015. A new high-resolution record of Holocene geomagnetic secular variation from New Zealand. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 430:296307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vandergoes, MJ, Fitzsimons, SJ, Newnham, RM. 1997. Late Glacial to Holocene vegetation and climate change in the eastern Takitimu Mountains, western Southland, New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 27(1):5366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vandergoes, MJ, Newnham, RM, Preusser, F, Hendy, CH, Lowell, TV, Fitzsimons, SJ, Hogg, AG, Kasper, HU, Schlüchter, C. 2005. Regional insolation forcing of late Quaternary climate change in the Southern Hemisphere. Nature 436(7048):242245.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Vandergoes, MJ, Dieffenbacher-Krall, AC, Newnham, RM, Denton, GH, Blaauw, M. 2008. Cooling and changing seasonality in the Southern Alps, New Zealand during the Antarctic Cold Reversal. Quaternary Science Reviews 27(5):589601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vandergoes, MJ, Hogg, AG, Lowe, DJ, Newnham, RM, Denton, GH, Southon, J, Barrell, DJA, Wilson, CJN, McGlone, MS, Allan, ASR et al. 2013a. A revised age for the Kawakawa/Oruanui tephra, a key marker for the Last Glacial Maximum in New Zealand. Quaternary Science Reviews 74:195201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vandergoes, MJ, Newnham, RM, Denton, GH, Blaauw, M, Barrell, DJA. 2013b. The Anatomy of Last Glacial Maximum climate variations in South Westland, New Zealand, derived from pollen records. Quaternary Science Reviews 74:215229.Google Scholar
Vandergoes, MJ, Howarth, JD, Dunbar, GB, Turnbull, JC, Roop, HA, Levy, RH, Li, X, Prior, C, Norris, MW, Keller, ED et al. 2018. Integrating chronological uncertainties for annually laminated lake sediments using layer counting, independent chronologies and Bayesian age modelling (Lake Ohau, South Island, New Zealand). Quaternary Science Reviews 188:104120.Google Scholar
Zondervan, A, Hauser, T, Kaiser, J, Kitchen, R, Turnbull, JC, West, JG. 2015. XCAMS: The compact 14C accelerator mass spectrometer extended for 10Be and 26Al at GNS Science, New Zealand. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 361:2533.Google Scholar
2
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Pretreatment of Terrestrial Macrofossils
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Pretreatment of Terrestrial Macrofossils
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Pretreatment of Terrestrial Macrofossils
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *