Earthquake Dating: An Application of Carbon-14 Atom Counting

Science  18 Mar 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4590, pp. 1320-1321
DOI: 10.1126/science.219.4590.1320


Milligram-sized specimens of detrital charcoal from soil layers associated with prehistoric earthquakes on the Wasatch fault in Utah have been dated by direct atom counting of carbon-14 with a tandem Van de Graaff accelerator. The measured ratios of carbon-14 to carbon-12 correspond to ages of 7800, 8800, and 9000 years with uncertainties of ± 600 years.