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High-precision radiocarbon dating with accelerator mass spectrometry and calibration of radiocarbon ages



High-precision radiocarbon dating with accelerator mass spectrometry and calibration of radiocarbon ages



Daiyonki-Kenkyu = Quaternary Research 46(3): 195-204



High-resolution as well as high-precision age estimation is particularly important for Quaternary research to realize its main aim of better understanding of global environmental changes of the past and realistic prediction of the changes in the near future. Among several dating methods that are applicable to Quaternary samples, radiocarbon ( (super 14) C) dating has been commonly used since its development in late 1940s. A new (super 14) C detection technique, accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS), has been developed since 1977. The method directly detects and counts (super 14) C atoms, instead of counting beta -ray emitted in the decay of (super 14) C, and therefore requires only a few mg of carbon for (super 14) C measurements. Nowadays, AMS (super 14) C dating is widely used and more than sixty AMS (super 14) C facilities are in operation in the world. In Japan, eight facilities for AMS (super 14) C dating have been in use since 2004. As one of the eight AMS (super 14) C measurement systems in Japan, the Nagoya University AMS group has started routine (super 14) C measurements with the firstly introduced Tandetron AMS system since 1983 and also with the secondly established Tandetron AMS since 1999. The second system has an excellent performance of the standard deviation (one sigma) of the (super 14) C/ (super 12) C ratios of around + or -0.2% to + or -0.4% (+ or -17-+ or -30 (super 14) C yrs) and that of the corresponding (super 13) C/ (super 12) C ratios of + or -0.3% to + or -0.07%, as are tested for HOxII targets. By using this AMS system, we are now trying to provide accurate ages to the Quaternary events. Briefly discussed in this article are, (1) a consistency test of the established IntCa198 and IntlCa104 (super 14) C data sets with the (super 14) C-concentration records in Japanese tree rings ; (2) programs of high accuracy and precision age estimation by (super 14) C wiggle matching techniques for wood samples; (3) investigations of (super 14) C reservoir effect for marine samples from the Japanese Archipelago.

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