Radiocarbon dating, reservoir effects, and calibration

A. J.Timothy Jull, George S. Burr, Gregory W.L. Hodgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


We summarize how radiocarbon measurements are made using accelerator mass spectrometry. We also discuss some complications inherent in the radiocarbon-dating method when calibrating radiocarbon dates to calendar dates. For example, measurements of radiocarbon (14C) in some types of materials are complicated by a "reservoir effect", caused by an apparent age of the source reservoir that differs from the contemporary atmospheric surface 14C value. In other cases, mobile carbon sources in nature can produce mixed sources of carbon. We explore these effects and discuss their possible implications for 14C measurements and how we can deal with them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-71
Number of pages8
JournalQuaternary International
StatePublished - Jun 19 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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