With radiocarbon dating
Sample preparation and measurement Radiocarbon dating is performed on a variety of sample types; optimum sample sizes are listed in Table 1 below.
For samples such as sediment and DOC in water, the sample size depends on the organic carbon content.
Please discuss your proposal with the appropriate ANSTO Contact Scientist before submitting your proposal as they will assist you in making the correct capability selection.
Capability selections Selecting the right capability depends on your sample type, or the form in which you wish to send the sample.
Radiocarbon dating analyses may be carried out on diverse natural materials such as lake sediments, groundwaters and surface waters, tree-rings, ice-cores, corals, soils and air.To help resolve these issues, radiocarbon laboratories have conducted inter-laboratory comparison exercises (see for example, the August 2003 special issue of Radiocarbon), devised rigorous pretreatment procedures to remove any carbon-containing compounds unrelated to the actual sample being dated, and developed calibration methods for terrestrial and marine carbon. Radiocarbon dating can be used on either organic or inorganic carbonate materials.Shells of known age collected prior to nuclear testing have also been dated ( to ascertain the effects of old carbon (i.e., local marine reservoir effects). However, the most common materials dated by archaeologists are wood charcoal, shell, and bone. In brief, radiocarbon dating measures the amount of radioactive carbon 14 (14C) in a sample.The surrounding environment can also influence radiocarbon ages.The introduction of "old" or "artificial" carbon into the atmosphere (i.e., the "Suess Effect" and "Atom Bomb Effect", respectively) can influence the ages of dates making them appear older or younger than they actually are.