Carbon isotope used radiocarbon dating
For groundwater, this means that C is a widely used tool to establish chronologies for groundwater flow systems and climate records for the Holocene and Pleistocene.
It is considered to be the most important tool for age dating of ‘old’ groundwater.
More information on the sources of error in carbon dating are presented at the bottom of this page.
The method was developed immediately following World War II by Willard F.
To measure the amount of radiocarbon left in a artifact, scientists burn a small piece to convert it into carbon dioxide gas.
After the organism dies, carbon-14 continues to decay without being replaced.
It was discovered in 1934 by Grosse as an unknown activity in the mineral endialyte. This half life has later been re-determined by Godwin. Libby recognized that due to its occurrence in natural materials, either by simple mixing processes or by carbon exchange.
In the same year, Kurie (Yale) exposed nitrogen to fast neutrons and observed long tracks in a bubble chamber. The mean life time of roughly 8000 years is ideal for dating of reservoirs that are a few decades to a few ten thousand yeas old.
The word "estimates" is used because there is a significant amount of uncertainty in these measurements.
Each sample type has specific problems associated with its use for dating purposes, including contamination and special environmental effects.The challenge in C content of groundwater at the time of recharge, i.e., at the time when groundwater is isolated from exchange with the soil air and moves away from the water table.