Radiocarbon Dating of Marine Carbonates
Contaminant: Carbon-containing materials that do not originally belong to the sample.
Pretreatment: A process applying physical and chemical treatments to remove contaminants.
Contamination and Sample Pretreatment
Marine carbonates such as shells and corals mainly consist of aragonite. Before samples are processed for radiocarbon dating, all contaminants must be removed; otherwise the determination of correct radiocarbon ages may not be achieved. Contaminants are derived from the surrounding environment if samples were buried in soils or sediments (e.g., secondary carbonates derived from groundwater and recrystallization of sample carbonate due to chemical exchange between the sample and the surrounding environment). These carbonate contaminants are mostly in the form of calcite. Contaminants can also be conservation materials in the case of museum specimens. Contamination cannot always be seen by naked eye. In such cases, samples should be screened for secondary carbonates...
KeywordsDissolve Inorganic Carbon Surface Ocean Reef Flat Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Marine Carbonate
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