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Posted by / 18-Jan-2018 14:53

Plants which grow in the vicinity of active volcanic fumeroles will yield a radiocarbon age which is too old. (1980) measured the radioactivity of modern plants growing near hot springs heated by volcanic rocks in western Germany and demonstrated a deficiency in radiocarbon of up to 1500 years through comparison with modern atmospheric radiocarbon levels.

Thus it was that 1890 wood was used as the modern radiocarbon standard, extrapolated for decay to 1950 AD.Since about 1955, thermonuclear tests have added considerably to the C14 atmospheric reservoir.This C14 is 'artificial' or 'bomb' C14, produced because nuclear bombs produce a huge thermal neutron flux.In order to ascertain the ages of samples which were formed in equilibrium with different reservoirs to these materials, it is necessary to provide an age correction.Implicit in the Conventional Radiocarbon Age BP is the fact that it is not adjusted for this correction.

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Reservoir corrections for the world oceans can be found at the Marine Reservoir Correction Database, a searchable database online at Queen's University, Belfast and the University of Washington.

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