Critical comments on the interpretation and publication of 14C, TL/OSL and 230Th/U dates and on the problem of teleconnections between global climatic processes

  • Dieter Jäkel
Part of the Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences book series (LNEARTH, volume 102)


Modern research in the earth sciences includes the use of physical dating methods to clarify stratigraphical issues. Without including such results, no paper is likely to be accepted for publication by a well-reputed journal. This does not always seem justified, especially in those cases where the paper contains a complete relative chronology as a case study for a distinct region. On the other hand, papers presenting methodologically unreliable age data are accepted and later serve as the basis for teleconnections concerning global climatic patterns. Most of these age determinations are conducted by commercial laboratories without taking account of the relative chronology of the strata concerned. Their reliability has to be evaluated by the author who - on the other hand – receives no information about possible difficulties of sample preparation or about the complexity of the method and the measurements. Data obtained by routine laboratory techniques may not reflect the degree of reliability necessary for correct interpretation and global correlation. This may be the case in radiocarbon dating: for example, if the apatite and collagen contents of bones are not determined separately, or the reservoir effect is ignored when analysing water and biogenic carbonates. This situation is particularly unfortunate because detailed studies of the problem are available.


Humic Acid Marine Isotope Stage Biogenic Carbonate Reservoir Effect Badain Jaran Desert 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dieter Jäkel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Geographical SciencesFree University of BerlinBerlinGermany

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