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  • Philip Naysmith (a1), E Marian Scott (a2), Elaine Dunbar (a1) and Gordon T Cook (a1)


Over the past 30 years, the format of the radiocarbon (14C) intercomparison studies has changed, however, the selection of sample types used in these studies has remained constant—namely, natural and routinely dated materials that could subsequently be used as in-house reference materials. One such material is peat which has been used 12 times, starting with the ICS in 1988. Peat from Iceland (TIRI), Ellanmore (TIRI), Letham Moss (ICS, VIRI, and SIRI), and St Bees, UK (FIRI and VIRI) have been used, as well as a near-background peat from Siberia. In the main, these peat samples have been provided as the humic acid fraction, with the main advantage being that the humic acid is extracted in solution and then precipitated (the solution phase providing the homogenisation) which is a key requirement for a reference material. In this paper, we will revisit the peat results and explore their findings. In addition, for the last 8 years, the Letham Moss sample has been used in the SUERC 14C laboratory as an in-house standard or reference material. This has resulted in several thousand measurements. Such a rich data set is explored to illustrate the benefits arising from the intercomparison program.


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Selected Papers from the 23rd International Radiocarbon Conference, Trondheim, Norway, 17–22 June, 2018



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Scott, EM, Aitchison, TC, Harkness, DD, Baxter, MS, Cook, GT. 1989. An interim progress report on stages 1 and 2 of the international collaborative programs. Radiocarbon 31(3):414421.
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Scott, EM, editor. 2003. The Third International Radiocarbon Inter-Comparison (TIRI) and the Fourth International Radiocarbon Inter-Comparison (FIRI) 1990–2002: results, analyses, and conclusions. Radiocarbon 45(2):135408.
Scott, EM, Naysmith, P, Cook, GT. 2018. Why do we need 14C inter-comparisons? The Glasgow 14C inter-comparison series, a reflection over 30 years. Quaternary Geochronology 43:7282.
Scott, EM, Naysmith, P, Cook, GT. 2019. Life after SIRI, where next? Radiocarbon, this volume.
Thompson, M, Ellison, SR, Wood, R. 2006. The international harmonized protocol for the proficiency testing of analytical chemistry laboratories. Pure and Applied Chemistry 78(1):145196.



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