Carbon 14 dating bomb curve

carbon 14 dating bomb curve-90

Radiocarbon samples which obtain their carbon from a different source (or reservoir) than atmospheric carbon may yield what is termed apparent ages.

A shellfish alive today in a lake within a limestone catchment, for instance, will yield a radiocarbon date which is excessively old.

The reason for this anomaly is that the limestone, which is weathered and dissolved into bicarbonate, has no radioactive carbon.

Thus, it dilutes the activity of the lake meaning that the radioactivity is depleted in comparison to 14C activity elsewhere.

But despite all the destruction that these tests caused, their remnants are now being used to answer questions in biology that might otherwise have been unsolvable or, at the least, extremely difficult to study.

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