Radiocarbon dating is based on the property that the activity concentration of 14C in dead tissues can be used to calculate the time that has elapsed since death occurred. More details Reporting time At present (March 2017) it takes ca 2-3 months (excluding periods when the laboratory is closed for holidays) from the arrival of a sample until we report the result to the customer.
This is possible since all living organisms contain nearly the same proportion of radioactive carbon in their carbon stores and since, upon the death of the organism, the carbon which survives decomposition continuously loses 14C by its radioactive decay. This applies to normal samples, and the time varies depending on the type of material.
A table of optimum and minimum sample sizes is provided below.
Please feel free to contact our lab staff to discuss the specific details of your samples.
Radiocarbon dating is performed on a variety of sample types; optimum sample sizes are listed in Table 1 below.
For samples such as sediment and DOC in water, the sample size depends on the organic carbon content.
Please discuss your proposal with the appropriate ANSTO Contact Scientist before submitting your proposal as they will assist you in making the correct capability selection.
All samples submitted for dating must be accompanied by a sample description form.We have subcontractor agreements with several AMS facilities around the world.Materials suitable for radiocarbon dating include charcoal, wood and other plant matter, soils and sediments, shells, bone, carbonates, dissolved inorganic carbonate (DIC), methane and hydrocarbons, and food products.Specialized services such as pollen or foram picking or individual compound separation are not offered.We discourage the dating of bulk soil, peat, or sediments, because those materials are often a mixture of components with widely differing ages.