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When it comes to dating archaeological samples, several timescale problems arise.
Here I report accelerator mass spectrometry analyses of radiocarbon from selected regions of fish otoliths and show that such measurements are suitable for determining both pre- and post-bomb radiocarbon in all oceans and at most depths.
Radiocarbon data obtained from otoliths can extend our knowledge of carbon flux in the oceans and atmosphere and help to develop further understanding of the fate of atmospheric CO and ocean circulation.
The data presented here represent the first pre- and post-bomb time series of radiocarbon levels from temperate waters.
Furthermore, I demonstrate that the dramatic increase in radiocarbon in the atmosphere and oceans, attributable to the atmospheric testing of thermonuclear bombs during the 1950's and 1960's, provides a chemical mark on fish otoliths that is suitable for the validation of age in fishes.
This result suggests that post-bomb radiocarbon dating can be used to estimate ages of adult PBF.
The Δ¹⁴C of the otolith core portions of fish estimated to be 2–27-years of age gradually declined as birth year approached the present day.
This trend was consistent with the trend of the reference values and 10‰ lower.
The resulting radiocarbon combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide, which is incorporated into plants by photosynthesis; animals then acquire in a sample from a dead plant or animal such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died.
The older a sample is, the less (the period of time after which half of a given sample will have decayed) is about 5,730 years, the oldest dates that can be reliably measured by this process date to around 50,000 years ago, although special preparation methods occasionally permit accurate analysis of older samples.
Libby received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960.