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Intcal04 Terrestrial Radiocarbon Age Calibration, 0–26 Cal Kyr BP


A new calibration curve for the conversion of radiocarbon ages to calibrated (cal) ages has been constructed and internationally ratified to replace IntCal98, which extended from 0–24 cal kyr BP (Before Present, 0 cal BP = AD 1950). The new calibration data set for terrestrial samples extends from 0–26 cal kyr BP, but with much higher resolution beyond 11.4 cal kyr BP than IntCal98. Dendrochronologically-dated tree-ring samples cover the period from 0–12.4 cal kyr BP. Beyond the end of the tree rings, data from marine records (corals and foraminifera) are converted to the atmospheric equivalent with a site-specific marine reservoir correction to provide terrestrial calibration from 12.4–26.0 cal kyr B P. A substantial enhancement relative to IntCal98 is the introduction of a coherent statistical approach based on a random walk model, which takes into account the uncertainty in both the calendar age and the 14C age to calculate the underlying calibration curve (Buck and Blackwell, this issue). The tree-ring data sets, sources of uncertainty, and regional offsets are discussed here. The marine data sets and calibration curve for marine samples from the surface mixed layer (Marine04) are discussed in brief, but details are presented in Hughen et al. (this issue a). We do not make a recommendation for calibration beyond 26 cal kyr BP at this time; however, potential calibration data sets are compared in another paper (van der Plicht et al., this issue).

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