To save this undefined to your undefined 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 undefined account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.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.
This paper presents radiocarbon (14C) variations in the atmosphere from Ramnicu Valcea, Romania. The samples were collected in the vicinity of the Experimental Pilot Plant for Tritium and Deuterium Separation (PESTD) from the Institute of the Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies (ICSI) placed about 10 km south from the Ramnicu Valcea city (Romania), in the Govora industrial area. This facility is an experimental project in the national nuclear energy research program, which has the aim of developing technologies for tritium separation from heavy water. It should be noted that in the Govora industrial area operates a 315 MW coal-fired thermoelectric power plant and two chemical plants. In order to determine radiocarbon activity in the atmosphere, samples were collected monthly by absorption of CO2 into sodium hydroxide (NaOH) at Ramnicu Valcea. In addition, control materials (tree leaves, wild vegetation, and grapes), known activity standards, and process blanks (marble) were analyzed. Radiocarbon measurements were performed using the direct absorption method and liquid scintillation counting. The measured Δ14C levels varied between –57‰ and 61‰. The results have a decreasing trend, but due to local influence caused by the continuous production of fossil CO2, we cannot observe Δ14C seasonal variations.
Areas affected by routine radiocarbon (14C) discharges from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) and accidental releases in March 2011 were investigated by analysis of cores from Japanese cypress and cedar trees growing at sites 9 and 24 km northwest of the plant. 14C concentrations in tree rings from 2008–2014 (before and after the accident) were determined by accelerator mass spectrometry, with 14C activities in the range 231–256 Bq kg−1 C. Activities during the period 2012–2014, after FDNPP shutdown, represent background levels, while the significantly higher levels recorded during 2008–2010, before the accident, indicate uptake of 14C from routine FDNPP operations. The mean excess 14C activity for the pre-accident period at the sites 9 and 24 km northwest of the plant were 21 and 12 Bq kg−1 C, respectively, indicating that the area of influence during routine FDNPP operations extended at least 24 km northwest. The mean excess tree-ring 14C activities in 2011 were 10 and 5.8 Bq kg−1 C at 9 and 24 km northwest, respectively, documenting possible impact of the FDNPP accident on 14C levels in trees.
Radiocarbon (14C) has become a unique and powerful tracer in source apportionment of atmospheric carbonaceous particles. In this study, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit (APEC) held in Beijing in 2014 was used as a demonstration to research the source apportionment of atmosphere PM2.5. We used a 200 kV single stage accelerator mass spectrometer recently completed at China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE). The PM2.5 samples related to above case were collected, and the characteristics of radiocarbon in organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) in samples were analyzed using the AMS. The results show that the Before-APEC pollution emission mode is different from the During-APEC and After-APEC pollution emission modes. For Before-APEC, During-APEC and After-APEC, the average values of fossil carbon fraction of OC are 0.463, 0.431 and 0.615, respectively, and those of EC are 0.644, 0.561 and 0.687. The fossil source contributions of traffic activities using fossil fuels to OC and EC are 15.8 % and 21.9 %, respectively. The fossil source contributions of industrial activities to OC and EC are 38.0 % and 8.2 %, respectively. It is about 7–10 days that is needed to take to regenerate the PM2.5 pollution caused by human activities.
The Danube region in Central Europe was one of the areas where several cultures appeared before moving further or being defeated during the Migration Period in the middle of the first millennium AD. The Lombards, who crossed the Danube in 505 AD, settled in the “Tullnerfeld” where the Maria Ponsee graveyard was excavated in 1965–1972. From the historical evidence about the temporal and spatial migration of the Lombards, it was concluded that the graveyard was in use between 505 and 568 AD by three groups of migrants. We processed and dated a new set of 23 bones, found in the Maria Ponsee site. The determined 14C dates fit well in the expected time interval, though discrimination between the grave groups could not be obtained. The dates were added to the chronological sequence, recording the Migration Period in Central Europe. The sequence lead to a good correlation of the modelled and historical data (Amodel = 87.6%). The results show differentiations of the respective tribes in the pre-Lombardic period. However, transitions between the Lombard phases were rather ambiguous, indicating that the Lombards set up new settlements while only partially abandoning the already inhabited ones before 546 AD.
In our research on traditional clothing and accessories in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan, we have collected cloth fragments from traditional Ryukyuan costumes and other fabric products for radiocarbon (14C) dating. In this study, the cloth samples from historical costumes of noro priestesses (two samples), men and women from high-status families (five samples), and non-costume cloth products (seven samples), belonging to the traditional hereditary religious system of the ancient Ryukyu Kingdom, which lasted from approximately the 14th century AD to 1829 were analyzed. One extra sample originated from a silk shawl known as a Manila shawl. The oldest among the 15 samples dates back to the mid-15th century, but some newer ones belong to the unclear calibrated age range of AD 1650–1950. The measured dates are very consistent with the historical record, suggesting that acetone and acid-alkali-acid treatments are an adequate cleaning method for radiocarbon dating of silk and cotton samples produced in the late Middle Age and later.
Historical sources reveals that Copenhagen was founded in the late 12th century AD by Bishop Absalon. However, during the excavation for the new metro in central Copenhagen a previously unknown early medieval cemetery was discovered and excavated at the Town Hall Square. Radiocarbon (14C) analysis was conducted on the 9 individuals found in situ, together with 11 individuals from the other early medieval cemetery in Copenhagen, belonging to the St Clemens church. The radiocarbon analysis places the onset of the cemeteries to the early 11th century AD and therefore questions the age of Copenhagen and hence the archaeological and historical perception of the Danish historical record. Here a detailed account of the radiocarbon-based Bayesian model is presented.
The South Pacific Ocean contributes to the global carbon cycle by exchanging CO2 between the atmosphere and intermediate to deep water masses. The path of the Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) in the South Pacific gyre has been inferred from salinity, oxygen, and nutrient measurements, but radiocarbon (14C) measurements—a direct tracer of the carbon cycle—remain sparse. Here, we present the first radiocarbon profiles in the western Coral Sea and compare our measurements with South Pacific stations from GLODAPv2, a database of ocean hydrochemistry. Surface and subsurface waters in the Coral Sea cannot be attributed to a single source based on their Δ14C signatures, and we observe a penetration of bomb-produced 14C. AAIW in the western Coral Sea shows Δ14C values comparable to those in the South Pacific gyre, consistent with circulation of AAIW in the lower part of the southern equatorial current. The deep waters of the western Coral Sea have significantly higher 14C than the South Pacific at the same isopycnal, consistent with a northward intrusion of Circumpolar Deep Water from the Tasman Sea, along with a westward influx of deep waters from the Central Pacific. In accordance with silicate concentrations published previously, this shows the dual origin of deep waters in the Coral Sea.
Undisturbed megalithic burials are extremely rare because in addition to human activities, natural disturbances due to water influence and erosion or faunal activity are likely to occur over time. The dolmen of Oberbipp discovered in 2011 provides a unique opportunity for multidisciplinary research since anthropogenic and natural disturbances are minor. Morphological analysis indicates that approximately 42 individuals were buried in the grave chamber. Using archaeological methods alone, it would not have been possible to determine different occupation periods within the inhumations. Neolithic communities often reused dolmen over centuries. Therefore, radiocarbon (14C) dating is the only method that can solve the question of temporal resolution. Fragments of the same bone element (right femora) were analyzed by two (in some cases three) different laboratories to date all inhumations individually. The aim of this study was threefold: (1) to determine the total occupation time of the dolmen (2) to evaluate the sequence of the burials, and (3) to compare the results of the same skeletal element from different laboratories. In total, 79 radiocarbon dating results from three different laboratories of the right femora (n = 32) were obtained. The total time span of the occupation of the dolmen was between 3350 and 2650 BC. The broad application of radiocarbon dating allowed the determination of two occupation periods within the burial.
This article presents a new suite of radiocarbon (14C) dates for the lower portion of the Late Bronze Age (LBA) sequence of Area S, Tel Lachish. The results show that the lowest levels reached by Ussishkin in the 1980s (S-2 and S-3) date significantly earlier than was previously thought. Level S-3, with its monumental architecture, belongs in the 2nd half of the 15th century BCE, as does the commencement of Level S-2. The laminated deposit of S-2 continues through the first half of the 14th century BCE, coinciding at least in part with the Amarna period. This redating leads to improved agreement between archaeological and textual evidence regarding the presence of a substantial, prominent settlement at Lachish during LB IB-IIA, from the reign of Thutmoses III through the Amarna period.
Today, accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) technology enables us to carry out very precise measurements of radiocarbon (14C). Unfortunately, due to fluctuations in the 14C calibration curve, the resulting calibrated time intervals vary from decades up to centuries in calibrated age. Within a time scale of several decades, we can find several time intervals on the 14C calibration curve which correspond with periods of rapid increases in atmospheric 14CO2 activity. Some of these “high slope” parts of the calibration curve could be used for fine time resolution for radiocarbon dating of individual samples. Nevertheless, there are certain limitations owing to the properties of the samples measured. We have prepared a time-resolution curve for the 14C dating method, applying calibration curve IntCal13 and assuming an uncertainty of 14C analyses ±15 yr BP (for recent samples). Our curve of the time resolution covers the last 50 ka. We found several time intervals with time resolution below 50 yr BP for the last 3 ka. Several time intervals which can enable substantially better time resolution compared to neighboring parts of the calibration curve were also found for periods older than 3 ka.
The jungles of Linyun and Longlin Autonomous Prefecture, located in the heart of the southwestern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, are home to the oldest tea trees (Camellia sinensis) in the world. In the absence of regular annual rings, radiocarbon (14C) dating is one of the most powerful tools that can assist in the determination of the ages and growth rates of these plants. In this work, cores were extracted from large ancient tea trees in a central Longlin rain forest; extraction of carbon was performed with an automated sample preparation system. The 14C levels in the tree cores were measured using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the University of Tsukuba. These measurements indicated that contrary to conventional views, the ages of trees in these forests range up to ~700 years, and the growth rate of this species is notably slow, exhibiting a long-term radial growth rate of 0.039±0.006 cm/yr. It was demonstrated that 14C analyses provide accurate determination of ages and growth rates for subtropical wild tea trees.
Proxy-based observations of solar activity in the past have revealed long-term variations, such as the Gleissberg cycle (~88 yr), de Vries cycle (~200 yr), and the Hallstatt cycle (~2000 yr). Such long-term variations of solar activity sometimes cause the disappearance of sunspots for several decades. Currently, solar activity is becoming weaker, and there is a possibility that another long-term sunspot minimum could occur. However, the detailed mechanism of the weakening in solar activity is unknown, and the prediction of solar activity is ambiguous. In this study, we investigate the transitions of solar cycle length before the onset of the Spoerer Minimum, the longest grand minimum in the past 2000 yr. We measured the 14C content in an asunaro tree (Thujopsis dolabrata) excavated at Shimokita Peninsula from 1368–1420 CE using the compact AMS system at Yamagata University. It is found that the solar cycle lengthened to be 14–16 yr from 2 cycles before the onset of the Spoerer Minimum.
We sampled individual growth rings from three ancient remnant bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) trees from a massive buried deposit at the mouth of the Altamaha River on the Georgia Coast to determine the best technique for radiocarbon (14C) dating pretreatment. The results of our comparison of traditional ABA pretreatment and holocellulose and α-cellulose fractions show no significant differences among the pretreatments (<1 sigma) thereby suggesting that ABA pretreatment will prove sufficient for the development of a high-resolution 14C tree-ring chronology based on these ancient bald cypresses which will indicate whether the U.S. Southeast is subject to a regional radiocarbon offset.
Sub-annual measurements, eight increments per year, of cellulose in a Scots pine tree growing in central Norway are presented as a proxy for tropospheric 14CO2 at biweekly to monthly resolution. The results are validated by comparison to direct atmospheric measurements in the years 1959–1965, and a new dataset is obtained for 1953–1958. In this period, our cellulose measurements deviate from the Bomb 13 NH1 calibration curve, which is derived from single-year measurements of tree rings. This is due to seasonal cycles in tropospheric radiocarbon (14C) concentrations, caused by the first series of atmospheric nuclear weapons tests.
To resolve an inconsistency around AD 1895 between radiocarbon (14C) measurements on oak from the British Isles and Douglas fir and Sitka spruce from the Pacific Northwest, USA, we measured the 14C content in single-year tree rings from a Scots pine tree (Pinus sylvestris L.), which grew in a remote location in Saltdal, northern Norway. The dataset covers the period AD 1864–1937 and its results are in agreement with measurements from the US Pacific coast around 1895. The most likely explanation for older ages in British oak in this period seems to be 14C depletion associated with the combustion of fossil fuels.
Increasing demands for small-scale radiocarbon (14C) analyses required the installation of a “SO-110 B” type ion source (HVE Europa B.V.) at our 6 MV Tandetron AMS (HVE) dedicated for the direct injection of CO2 using either the gas injection system (GIS) from Ionplus AG or a EuroVector EA 3000 elemental analyzer (EA). We tested both systems with multiple series of 14C-free and modern standards (2.5–50 µg C) combusted in quartz ampoules or EA containers and were able to quantify exogenous C introduced. In EA-GIS-AMS analysis exogenous C is mainly derived from the EA sample containers. Blank values for 50 µg C combusted in solvent-cleaned tin (Sn) vessels were 0.0127 ± 0.0012 F14C (boats) and 0.0090 ± 0.0010 F14C (capsules), while they were much higher for thermally cleaned silver (Ag) capsules. The processing of gas samples for GIS-AMS yields similar blank values corresponding to 0.30 ± 0.08 µg exogenous C with 0.93 ± 0.23 F14C consisting of 0.28 µg C modern and 0.02 µg C fossil C. The combustion of larger amounts of blank material (1 mg C) in a single quartz tube split into aliquots gives lower blanks (0.0064 ± 0.0008 F14C; 50 µg C). Thus, 14C analysis of small, gaseous samples is now possible at CologneAMS.
A fully automatic continuous-flow gas injection interface was built to couple an elemental analyzer with a MICADAS accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) as a low-cost option that does not require an absorber trap for CO2 injection. The complication of the variable ion current during gas injection can be overcome by understanding and controlling the mass flow-dependent ionization yield. The time-varying CO2 concentrations and carbon mass flows are estimated with a mathematical model in order to investigate their relationship with the abundant isotope (12C–) signal. This model is based on a complete CO2 diffusion equation and instantaneous mass flow. It shows a good agreement between model calculations and the measurements. A reversible suppression of the formation of ions occurs, if the carbon mass flow exceeds 2.0–2.3 µg C/min. This result repeats for different injection capillaries and for different carrier volumetric flow rates.
A collision-radiation model of the solid sample cesium sputter ion source led to the rediscovery of anion production by ion-pair production. The model revealed physical processes that may produce high current outputs from such sources and suggested new ways of obtaining high outputs at lower heat and conductive stress to the source. Primary among these solutions is the electron excitation of primary Cs0 recycled from the sample to provide states that efficiently create chosen anions. Here we look at how the processes might apply to gas-fed ion sources.
Graphitization of 0.5–1.5 mg C, and of smaller samples to a lesser extent, is routinely done at our Facility by reduction over zinc. The method yields low background, good accuracy but offers a limited throughput, requires dedicated equipment and considerable operator time. Sealed-tube graphitization is faster, easier and cost-efficient producing as many graphites as CO2 can be purified in one day with low background, good accuracy and precision, provided precise measurements of δ13C values can be attained by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) to correct for isotope fractionation (Xu et al. 2007). We tested sealed-tube graphitization on 0.1 to 1.0 mg C samples and found that while we were able to obtain low backgrounds of >57,000 ±1000 yr BP for ∼1.7 mg C and 41,230 ± 430 yr BP for ∼0.09 mg C (0.0008 ± 0.0001 and 0.0059 ± 0.0003 Fraction Modern, respectively), results were variable for sample sizes <0.5 mg C. Measurements of FIRI Belfast Cellulose and TIRI Barleymash showed 0.3–0.6% precision and 1% accuracy for most sample sizes. We found better results in our laboratory by introducing the following modifications: (1) shorter inner tube (2 cm long), (2) short flame-seal length (∼7–8 cm) and (3) keeping the inner tube with iron separate from the outer tube containing zinc and titanium hydride during cleaning.
This study characterized cremated bone to better understand isotope exchanges during burial, using archeological samples. The cremated bones of Jokei, a Buddhist monk (AD 1155–1213), found in an urn from the Jisho-in Temple, Nara Prefecture, Japan, were used for the analysis. 14C dates were determined for eight of Jokei bone fragments of different colors (black, gray, and white). The white fragments had the highest x-ray diffractometry (XRD) crystallinity index (CI) values (0.89–1.05), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) splitting factor values (IRSF) of 5.3–7.1, and the lowest Ba concentrations. The calibrated date of the white bone fragments is 1152–1216 cal AD, consistent with Jokei’s lifespan, showing these fragments yield reliable 14C ages. Meanwhile, the black and gray fragments, which probably experienced lower temperatures during cremation, had lower CI and IRSF values of 0.25–0.46 and 4.2–4.9, respectively, and higher Ba concentrations. The black and gray fragments tended to show unreliable younger 14C dates and higher 87Sr/86Sr values close to the soil value due to soil contamination. The results in this study indicate that it is important to check crystallinity of apatite and soil contamination using chemical indexing methods such as Ba capture, to clarify the reliability of 14C dates for cremated bone samples.