The University of Arizona

Intercomparison of Radiocarbon Dating of Wood Samples at Lund University and ETH Zurich AMS Facilities: Extraction, Graphitization, and Measurement

F Adolphi, D Güttler, L Wacker, G Skog, R Muscheler


We conducted an interlaboratory comparison between our radiocarbon-related research group at Lund University and the established ETH-Zurich facility to test the quality of the results obtained in Lund and to identify sources of potential background differences and scatter. We did find differences between the 2 laboratories in the contributions of chemical preparation, graphitization, and measurements to the overall background. The resulting overall background is, however, almost similar. Multiple measurements on 2 wood samples of known calendar age yield consistent and accurate 14C ages in both laboratories. However, one of our known samples indicates that IntCal09 is ~38 ± 16 14C BP too young at 7020 calendar yr BP, which is consistent with one of the raw data sets contributing to IntCal09. Overall, our results show that a systematic approach to compare the different steps involved in 14C age determination is a useful exercise to pinpoint targets for improvement of lab routines and assess interlaboratory differences. These effects do not necessarily become apparent when comparing 14C measurements that integrate over the whole process of preparation and measurement of different laboratories.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.55.16297


Radiocarbon Dating; Wood; Cellulose; Graphitization; Background; Intercomparison; Reproducibility

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