Encyclopedia of Scientific Dating Methods

Living Edition
| Editors: W. Jack Rink, Jeroen Thompson

14C in Plant Macrofossils

  • Christine Hatté
  • A. J. Timothy Jull
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6326-5_168-1


We discuss 14C dating of plant macrofossils from different contexts and consider the various complicating effects of the history of the samples on the 14C measurement.


Late Quaternary chronologies are commonly constructed using AMS 14C dating of plant macrofossils, because they are generally argued to provide the most reliable chronology. Although plant macrofossils are often relatively abundant and well preserved in a variety of site type, they are still potentially subject to a range of complications. Be they terrestrial or aquatic, plant macrofossils are prone to absorb CO2 of mixed origin during photosynthesis, to be reworked, contaminated by dissolved organic carbon and by modern carbon due to inappropriate storage and analysis. They can also be potentially impacted by measurement effects relating to small sample sizes.

We will overview different macrofossils here, in dry and then humid environments, will give few notes on insects and invertebrates commonly...


Dissolve Inorganic Carbon Land Snail Plant Macrofossil Organic Matter Mineralization Chronological Framework 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’EnvironnementUMR8212 CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Domaine du CNRSGif-sur-YvetteFrance
  2. 2.NSF Arizona AMS Laboratory and Department of GeosciencesUniversity of ArizonaTuconsUSA