Radiocarbon dating recent applications and future potential
In December 2013 I gave an See how this method revealed a 50 year lifespan for bluespine unicornfish (Naso unicornis) by clicking the picture above.
Radiocarbon dating, which is also known as carbon-14 dating, is one widely used radiometric dating scheme to determine dates of ancient artifacts.
tiger shark and dogfish), and is also being used for other marine organisms (e.g.
calcareous marine alga, deep-sea coral, whale teeth, and mollusks).
Carbon was extracted from pellets collected at 43 locations in the western Great Basin, USA, including three known occupied sites and 40 sites of uncertain status at range margins or where previous studies indicated the species is vulnerable.
We resolved calibrated dates with high precision (within several years), most of which fell in the period of the mid-late 20th century bomb curve.
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Since it is chemically indistinguishable from the stable isotopes of carbon (carbon-12 and carbon-13), radiocarbon is taken by plants during photosynthesis and then ingested by animals regularly throughout their lifetimes.No evidence was found for biases in atmospheric 14C levels due to fossil-derived or industrial CO2 contamination.Radiocarbon dating indicated that pellets can persist for .59 years; known occupied sites resolved contemporary dates.This oceanic signal was first recorded from marine carbonates in hermatypic (reef-building) corals and has since been shown to be regionally specific in terms of the magnitude and timing of the post-bomb rise, as shown in the plot from Druffel (2002). The temporal specificity of the measured levels provided an independent determination of age for corroboration of age estimates from growth zone counting in otoliths, as can be seen in this plot from Kalish (1993).
Note that the rise in ΔC measured from aged fish otoliths coincides with the recorded pulse from regional hermatypic corals (see Bomb radiocarbon dating of three important reef-fishes of the Indo-Pacific for a recent application).In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications.