Radiocarbon dating calibration methods

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National Geophysical Data Center Radiocarbon datasets. C14-L is an email list for researchers and others involved in radiocarbon and other radioisotopes used in dating, and in scientific dating issues in general.

Disciplines for which it should be of particular interest would include anthropology, archaeology, climate and environmental studies, dendrochronology, earth sciences, oceanography, and various branches of chemistry and physics.

Details Calibration of a radiocarbon age of 6550 ± 40 BP of a terrestrial sample from the Northern Hemisphere, using Int Cal04 calibration curve and Ox Cal program version 3.10.

The difference of the two curves (R) is ~400 yr on average.

A new internationally-ratified calibration curve (Int Cal09) covering the whole radiocarbon timescale (~50,000 cal yr) is being prepared by the Int Cal Working Group.

There is a small difference in the natural atmospheric C levels in the southern troposphere are therefore usually lower than those in the northern troposphere, and the radiocarbon ages of terrestrial materials in the Southern Hemisphere for a particular period of time are usually older than those in the Northern Hemisphere.

For the remaining period 12,400-26,000 cal yr BP, the curve is derived from independently dated marine samples such as foraminifera and corals.In collaboration with Paul Blackwell, she devised a tailor-made Bayesian curve estimation method which was adopted by the IWG for making all of the 2004 internationally-agreed radiocarbon calibration curve estimates.This paper reports on that work and on the on-going work that will eventually provide models, methods and software for rolling updates to the curve estimates.The current internationally-ratified radiocarbon calibration curve for terrestrial samples from the Southern Hemisphere is SHCal04.This curve covers the past 11,000 cal yr, which is based on the dendrochronologically-dated tree rings for the last millennium and on model ages for the remaining period.

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