Calibration of the 14C Record

P. J. Reimer*, R. W. Reimer, M. Blaauw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Citations (Scopus)


Radiocarbon (14C) ages are converted, or calibrated, to the calendar timescale using a curve of 14C values derived from measurements of known-age material. The extension of calibration curves beyond the end of dendrochronologically dated tree-rings has been made using 14C measurements of U-Th-dated coral and foraminifera from both varve-counted and nonvarved sediments. Example calibrations are given for a single 14C age, a wiggle-match for a time series of tree-ring 14C ages, and a stratigraphic sequence of samples. Additional complexities such as variations in marine reservoir ages, marine carbon in the diet, and regional offsets require consideration. The potential for future refinements to the calibration curve is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Quaternary Science
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780444536433
ISBN (Print)9780444536426
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2013


  • C ages
  • Bayesian modeling
  • IntCal09
  • Marine reservoir corrections
  • Radiocarbon calibration
  • Regional offsets
  • Stratigraphic ordering
  • U-Th dating
  • Wiggle-matching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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