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Important Note on Pretreatment – It is important to understand the pretreatments which are going to be applied to samples since they directly affect the final result.
You are welcome to contact us to discuss the pretreatment or request that we contact you after the pretreatment (and prior to dating).
Another example of a natural contaminant is plant root penetration on wood, charcoal, or soil.
Artificial contamination refers to the introduction of contaminants by man during the collection, field conservation, or packaging of the samples.
Materials such as charcoal, wood, peat, and textiles typically undergo the acid-alkali-acid (AAA) method before radiocarbon dating.
Learn more Materials such as sediments and soils typically undergo acid washes (no alkali) before radiocarbon dating.
Physical pretreatment usually involves the removal of rootlets that intruded on the sample using tweezers or forceps.
This is a straightforward method for most samples sent to carbon dating labs except for peat samples that have been dried where the rootlets may not be easily distinguished from the rest of the sample.
The specific effect of the contaminant on radiocarbon dating results depends on the type of contaminant, the degree of contamination, and the relative ages of the sample and the contaminant.Learn More Materials such as shells and other materials where a date on the inorganic carbon (carbonate) is to be done typically undergo acid etching before pretreatment.