Sample materials that we process routinely, recommended sizes and storage vessels

For routine radiocarbon analysis we require >0.5 mg carbon after pretreatment and conversion to graphite. Typical sample size requirements to meet this target are given below.

For samples smaller than this we run a Small Sample Programme. Please contact the laboratory concerning samples that may require entering into this programme.

PLANT MACROFOSSILS & CHARCOAL

>2 mg dry weight submitted in glass vials or high-quality plastic sample vials

SHELL, CORAL & FORAMINIFERA

>8 mg dry weight submitted in glass vials or high-quality plastic sample vials

LAKE SEDIMENTS (GYTTJA), MARINE SEDIMENTS & ORGANIC SANDS

Depends on %carbon (>1 mg carbon required). Submit in glass vials or high-quality plastic sample vials.  Alternatively, larger samples can be wrapped in aluminium foil and then placed inside a plastic bag

PEAT & SOIL (FOR DATING & CARBON TURNOVER STUDIES)

>2 mg dry weight (peat) and >50 -100 mg (mineral soil). Exact amount depends on %carbon which can be variable for soil. Submit in glass vials or high-quality plastic sample vials. Alternatively, larger samples can be wrapped in aluminium foil and placed inside a plastic bag

CARBON DIOXIDE (E.G. SOIL RESPIRATION, DISSOLVED CO2, eVASION FROM WATER SURFACES, ATMOSPHERIC co2)

1-10 ml (at Standard temperature and pressure) collected on molecular sieve traps, gas sampling canisters and foil gas bags. Please contact the lab for submission options (including custom equipment loan and training)

METHANE GAS (AQUATIC & PEATLAND FLUXES, FUGITIVE EMISSIONS)

1-10 ml (at Standard temperature and pressure) collected in gas sampling canisters or foil gas bags. Please contact the lab for submission options (including custom equipment loan and training)

Bone and animal remains (including soil mesofauna; e.g. enchytraeid- and earth-worms)

Depends on %carbon (>1 mg carbon required). Submit in glass vials or high-quality plastic sample vials

POLLEN CONCENTRATES

>2 mg dry weight  in glass vials or high-quality plastic sample vials

DISSOLVED ORGANIC CARBON (DOC)

Depends on DOC concentration. Coloured water > 0.5 L, clear water >1.0 L in bottles made from glass bottles or high-quality plastic

PARTICULATE ORGANIC CARBON (poc)

Depends on %carbon (>1 mg carbon required). Submit in glass vials or high-quality plastic sample vials. 

TUFA & SPELEOTHEMS

>8 mg dry weight submitted in glass vials or high-quality plastic sample vials

DISSOLVED INORGANIC CARBON (DIC)

Depends on DIC concentration but typically 0.5 L in in glass bottles or high-quality plastic sample bottles, or air-tight foil bags.

Environmental Radiocarbon Laboratory

Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre

Rankine Avenue

East Kilbride

G75 0QF

United Kingdom

General enquiries:

Telephone: +44 (0) 1355 260037

Email: info@environmental14C.co.uk