Carbon dating live clam
Although inorganic, the carbonate is still datable since its formation involves incorporation of carbon 14 from the biosphere.
The carbonate present in shells is usually in the form of the mineral aragonite although some shells are mixtures of aragonite and calcite while others, like oyster shell, is mostly calcite.
You are welcome to contact us to discuss the pretreatment or request that we contact you after the pretreatment (and prior to dating).
– AMS dating requires as little as 3 milligrams of coral after the pretreatment.
Shellfish obtain carbon from the biosphere for shell building.
According to scientific studies, shellfish obtain organic carbon from marine or terrestrial plants and inorganic carbon from ocean water bicarbonate, atmospheric carbon dioxide, or freshwater bicarbonate.
If the material is quite old (20 ky), it is possible that long-term exposure to the atmosphere can bias the result in the more recent direction by some unknown degree.
When it is necessary to extract carbonates by drilling or powdering specific areas of the material (especially those suspected to be very old – greater than 20 ky), we recommend that the drilling be done under an inert gas (like N2, Ar, etc.) and that the material be stored in very small vials and sent to us without delay.
This phenomenon is latitude dependent and occurs as a consequence of trade winds.– Please take note that exposure to atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) may affect the radiocarbon dating results.