Discussion: Reporting and calibration of post-bomb 14C data

Paula J. Reimer, Thomas A. Brown, Ron W. Reimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

512 Citations (Scopus)


The definitive paper by Stuiver and Polach (1977) established the conventions for reporting of radiocarbon data for chronological and geophysical studies based on the radioactive decay of 14C in the sample since the year of sample death or formation. Several ways of reporting 14C activity levels relative to a standard were also established, but no specific instructions were given for reporting nuclear weapons-testing (post-bomb) 14C levels in samples. Because the use of postbomb 14C is becoming more prevalent in forensics, biology, and geosciences, a convention needs to be adopted. We advocate the use of fraction modern with a new symbol F14C to prevent confusion with the previously used Fm, which may or may not have been fractionation-corrected. We also discuss the calibration of post-bomb 14C samples and the available data sets and compilations, but do not give a recommendation for a particular data set.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1299-1304
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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