Carbon-14 Time Scale Extended: Comparison of Chronologies

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  07 Apr 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4337, pp. 11-15
DOI: 10.1126/science.200.4337.11


Thermal diffusion isotopic enrichment of carbon-14 has extended the radiocarbon dating range to about 75,000 years ago. Twenty-eight samples obtained up to June 1976, mainly from northwest Europe, were dated. Consideration of the basic assumptions of carbon-14 dating and of the sources of contamination indicates that the ages are generally reliable. Together with the pollen analytic and stratigraphic the dates yield a more detailed radiocarbon time scale for climatic variations in northwest Europe, showing three early glacial interstades. The radiocarbon time scale agrees with the Camp Century chronology and with the thorium-230 ages of corals representing high sea level stands on New Guinea. Ther is a discrepancy between the radiocarbon time scale and the deep-sea chronology, which may be due to correlation errors. With a modified interpretation of the correlation, all four time scales agree within the estimated experimental uncertainties of the dating techniques used.