Conventional vs ams radiocarbon dating
magazine has been continuously published since 1978, we are publishing some of the articles from the archives for historical interest, such as this.
For teaching and sharing purposes, readers are advised to supplement these historic articles with more up-to-date ones suggested in the Related Articles and Further Reading below. At top, is fossil wood in basalt that includes—from left to right—basalt, wood and siltstone.
Pieces of the basalt samples from the outcrop and the drill core were also sent to analytical laboratories, for major, minor, and trace element analyses to establish the character of these rocks, but mainly for radioactive ‘dating’ analyses.
Potassium-argon (K-Ar) ‘dating’ was performed on the two outcrop samples by the AMDEL laboratory in Adelaide (Australia), while one of the two outcrop samples and two drill core samples, one being in contact with the fossil wood, were ‘dated’ by Geochron Laboratories. When subsequently questioned regarding the limits of the analytical method for the radiocarbon and any possibility of contamination, staff at both laboratories (Ph. scientists) were readily insistent that the results, with one exception, C results (last column in Table 1), consistent with the carbon being organic carbon from wood, and indicating no possibility of contamination.
So the results in Table 1 are staunchly defended by the laboratories as valid, indicating an ‘age’ of perhaps 44,000–45,500 years for the wood encased in the basalt retrieved from the drill core.