REporting and calibration of post-bomb C-14 data

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The definitive paper by Stuiver and Polach (1977) established the conventions for reporting of 14C 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 post-bomb 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 datasets and compilations, but do not give a recommendation for a particular dataset.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1299-1304
Number of pages6
Volume46 (3)
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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