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A Note on Reporting of Reservoir 14C Disequilibria and Age Offsets

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 January 2016

Guillaume Soulet*
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 266 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA.
Luke C Skinner
Godwin Laboratory for Palaeoclimate Research, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, UK.
Steven R Beaupré
School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5000, USA.
Valier Galy
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 266 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA.
*Corresponding author. Email:


Reservoir age offsets are widely used to correct marine and speleothem radiocarbon age measurements for various calibration purposes. They also serve as a powerful tracer for carbon cycle dynamics. However, a clear terminology regarding reservoir age offsets is lacking, sometimes leading to miscalculations. This note seeks to provide consistent conventions for reporting reservoir 14C disequilibria useful to a broad range of environmental sciences. This contribution introduces the F14R and δ14R metrics to express the relative 14C disequilibrium between two contemporaneous reservoirs and the R metric as the associated reservoir age offset.

Research Article
© 2016 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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