Radio carbon dating dead sea scrolls
Ocean sediment C-14 data The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University has compiled 974 C-14 dates from 309 ocean sediments cores, covering the period from 40,000 years BP to the present worldwide. The USGS Bear Lake Project aims to create records of past climate change for the Bear Lake region,including changes in precipitation patterns during the last 10,000 years and how the size of Bear Lake has varied in the past, to assess the possibility of future flooding and drought.
"Everything which has come down to us from heathendom is wrapped in a thick fog; it belongs to a space of time we cannot measure.
There are three principal isotopes of carbon which occur naturally - C12, C13 (both stable) and C14 (unstable or radioactive).
These isotopes are present in the following amounts C12 - 98.89%, C13 - 1.11% and C14 - 0.00000000010%.
There is a quantitative relationship between the decay of 14C and the production of a beta particle. That is, the probability of decay for an atom of 14C in a discrete sample is constant, thereby requiring the application of statistical methods for the analysis of counting data.
Thus, one carbon 14 atom exists in nature for every 1,000,000,000,000 C12 atoms in living material.
The radiocarbon method is based on the rate of decay of the radioactive or unstable carbon isotope 14 (14C), which is formed in the upper atmosphere through the effect of cosmic ray neutrons upon nitrogen 14.
The rapidity of the dispersal of C14 into the atmosphere has been demonstrated by measurements of radioactive carbon produced from thermonuclear bomb testing.
14C also enters the Earth's oceans in an atmospheric exchange and as dissolved carbonate (the entire 14C inventory is termed the carbon exchange reservoir (Aitken, 1990)).