The University of Arizona
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Formal statistical models for estimating radiocarbon calibration curves.

C E Buck, P G Blackwell


We report on the development and implementation of a model-based statistical method for the estimation of radiocarbon calibration curves using diverse data. The method takes account of uncertainty on both the (super 14) C and calendar scales, coherently integrating data, the calendar age estimates of which arise from different dating methods. It also allows for correlation between observations, if they have particular sources of uncertainty in common. We adopt an approach based on a random walk model, tailoring it to take account of possible calendar age offsets between different data sources by adding a random effect component. The latter allows us to use the same modeling framework for constructing the new calibration curve IntCal04, the comparison curve NotCal04, the Southern Hemisphere curve SHCal04, and the marine calibration curve Marine04.


absolute age;C 14;calibration ;carbon ;errors ;isotopes ;methods ;models ;radioactive isotopes;random walk;statistical analysis;uncertainty

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