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Low temperature (LT) combustion of sediments does not necessarily provide accurate radiocarbon ages for site chronology

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Radiocarbon dating of soils and sediments is notoriously problematic for the purposes of dating a specific

    event due to their heterogeneous mix of multiple organic fractions, each of which may have a different

    radiocarbon age. Numerous studies have failed to agree on which sedimentary fraction or radiocarbon

    pre-treatment method, if any, provides the closest agreement between the age of a sedimentary fraction

    and that of associated plant macrofossils or charcoal. We tested the stepped-combustion method of

    McGeehin et al. (2001), as well as standard radiocarbon humin and humic extraction techniques, using

    samples from a chronologically well-constrained perennially-frozen site at Quartz Creek, Yukon Territory,

    Canada. The ages in closest agreement with associated radiocarbon-dated plant macrofossils and with

    the overlying Dawson tephra were given by the humic and humin fractions, but even these were still

    older than the macrofossil ages by up to 4195 260 radiocarbon years. The low temperature (LT) humin

    method recommended by McGeehin et al. (2001) yielded ages older than the macrofossils by up to

    nearly 4425 240 radiocarbon years. These fractions, while still providing information on the mobility

    and potential residence times of carbon in soils and sediments, should not be relied upon to provide

    consistently accurate site chronologies.

UOW Authors


  •   Brock, Fiona (external author)
  •   Froese, D G. (external author)
  •   Roberts, Richard

Publication Date


  • 2010

Citation


  • Brock, F., Froese, D. G. & Roberts, R. G. (2010). Low temperature (LT) combustion of sediments does not necessarily provide accurate radiocarbon ages for site chronology. Quaternary Geochronology, 5 (6), 625-630.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-78149500682

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/scipapers/5160

Number Of Pages


  • 5

Start Page


  • 625

End Page


  • 630

Volume


  • 5

Issue


  • 6

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/706731/description?navopenmenu=1

Abstract


  • Radiocarbon dating of soils and sediments is notoriously problematic for the purposes of dating a specific

    event due to their heterogeneous mix of multiple organic fractions, each of which may have a different

    radiocarbon age. Numerous studies have failed to agree on which sedimentary fraction or radiocarbon

    pre-treatment method, if any, provides the closest agreement between the age of a sedimentary fraction

    and that of associated plant macrofossils or charcoal. We tested the stepped-combustion method of

    McGeehin et al. (2001), as well as standard radiocarbon humin and humic extraction techniques, using

    samples from a chronologically well-constrained perennially-frozen site at Quartz Creek, Yukon Territory,

    Canada. The ages in closest agreement with associated radiocarbon-dated plant macrofossils and with

    the overlying Dawson tephra were given by the humic and humin fractions, but even these were still

    older than the macrofossil ages by up to 4195 260 radiocarbon years. The low temperature (LT) humin

    method recommended by McGeehin et al. (2001) yielded ages older than the macrofossils by up to

    nearly 4425 240 radiocarbon years. These fractions, while still providing information on the mobility

    and potential residence times of carbon in soils and sediments, should not be relied upon to provide

    consistently accurate site chronologies.

UOW Authors


  •   Brock, Fiona (external author)
  •   Froese, D G. (external author)
  •   Roberts, Richard

Publication Date


  • 2010

Citation


  • Brock, F., Froese, D. G. & Roberts, R. G. (2010). Low temperature (LT) combustion of sediments does not necessarily provide accurate radiocarbon ages for site chronology. Quaternary Geochronology, 5 (6), 625-630.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-78149500682

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/scipapers/5160

Number Of Pages


  • 5

Start Page


  • 625

End Page


  • 630

Volume


  • 5

Issue


  • 6

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/706731/description?navopenmenu=1