ENVIRONMENTAL RADIOCARBON LABORATORY
SUPPORTING ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPING NOVEL TECHNIQUES
The environmental radiocarbon laboratory was established to meet the need within the UK for radiocarbon analyses in areas of environmental and Earth sciences. Since that time the experimental output and scientific priorities have adapted and developed in response to changes in research priorities and the needs of our multi-disciplinary user community. This is reflected in increased analytical capacity, widening areas of scientific collaboration (both UK and internationally) and acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment.
RADIOCARBON MEASUREMENT BY ACCELERATOR MASS SPECTROMETRY
We prepare samples for radiocarbon measurement using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at either the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (left) or University of California, Irvine. Sample preparation involves a range of techniques focused on isolating the fraction to be dated, conversion to carbon dioxide, cryogenic purification and finally transformation to solid-carbon (graphite). The highest levels of quality control are maintained at each step using a suite of international radiocarbon standard materials.
WIDE RANGE OF SAMPLE TYPES
In addition to traditional sample materials of carbonate (e.g. shell, foraminifera) and organic matter (peat, soil, plant macrofossils, charcoal, pollen) we specialize in radiocarbon dating/analysis of the following sample types:
- Dissolved organic carbon (DOC)
- Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC)
- Black carbon (Hydrogen pyrolysis)
- Carbon dioxide (e.g. soil respiration, aquatic evasion)
- Methane gas (e.g. aquatic fluxes, fugitive emissions)