IntCal radiocarbon carbon calibration curves
The aim of the research is to provide a means to correct radiocarbon ages for changes over time in the concentration of 14C in the atmosphere and ocean. The curves provide an international standard so that chronologies are comparable worldwide.
A variety of archives were used to create a curve including tree-rings, corals, speleothems and plant fossils from lake sediments for Northern and Southern Hemisphere terrestrial samples and an ocean-atmosphere model was used for the marine surface ocean.
This international project undertaken by the the IntCal working group led by Prof. Paula Reimer from 2002-2020. Key people include: Paula Reimer (QUB), Timothy Heaton (University of Sheffield), Edouard Bard (CEREGE, France), Alex Bayliss (Historic England), Christopher Bronk Ramsey (University of Oxford), Martin Butzin and Peter Kohler (AWI Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Germany), Alan Hogg (University of Waikato, New Zealand), Hai Cheng (Xi'an Jiaotong University, China), Jonathan Palmer and Chris Turney (University of New South Wales, Australia), Ron Reimer (Queen's University Belfast), David Richards (University of Bristol), Marian Scott (University of Glasgow) John Southon (University of California Irvine USA) and many others (full membership list at www.intcal.org).
Impact of Research
The most recent IntCal calibration curves (IntCal20, SHCal20, Marine20) were published in August 2020 and have already been cited over 300 times. They have been used to enhance understanding of the timing of events in archaeology and earth sciences as well as providing a proxy record for solar production for climate models. The curves are used by all major commercial 14C laboratories which generate approx. £40M annual revenue.
Bard E, Heaton TJ, Talamo S, Kromer B, Reimer RW, Reimer PJ, 2020. Extended dilation of the radiocarbon time scale between 40,000 and 48,000 y BP and the overlap between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 202012307.
Heaton TJ, Köhler P, Butzin M, Bard E, Reimer RW, Austin WEN, Bronk Ramsey C, Grootes PM, Hughen KA, Kromer B, Reimer PJ, Adkins J, Burke A, Cook MS, Olsen J, Skinner LC, 2020. Marine20—The Marine Radiocarbon Age Calibration Curve (0–55,000 cal BP). Radiocarbon 62: 779-820.
Hogg AG, Heaton TJ, Hua Q, Palmer JG, Turney CSM, Southon J, Bayliss A, Blackwell PG, Boswijk G, Bronk Ramsey C, Pearson C, Petchey F, Reimer P, Reimer R, Wacker L, 2020. SHCal20 Southern Hemisphere Calibration, 0–55,000 Years cal BP. Radiocarbon 62: 759-78.
Muscheler R, Adolphi F, Heaton TJ, Bronk Ramsey C, Svensson A, Van Der Plicht J, Reimer PJ, 2020. Testing and Improving the IntCal20 Calibration Curve with Independent Records. Radiocarbon 62: 1079-94.
Reimer PJ, 2020. Composition and consequences of the IntCal20 radiocarbon calibration curve. Quaternary Research 96: 22-7.
Reimer PJ, Austin WEN, Bard E, Bayliss A, Blackwell PG, Bronk Ramsey C, Butzin M, Cheng H, Edwards RL, Friedrich M, Grootes PM, Guilderson TP, Hajdas I, Heaton TJ, Hogg AG, Hughen KA, Kromer B, Manning SW, Muscheler R, Palmer JG, Pearson C, Van Der Plicht J, Reimer RW, Richards DA, Scott EM, Southon JR, Turney CSM, Wacker L, Adolphi F, Büntgen U, Capano M, Fahrni SM, Fogtmann-Schulz A, Friedrich R, Köhler P, Kudsk S, Miyake F, Olsen J, Reinig F, Sakamoto M, Sookdeo A, Talamo S, 2020. The IntCal20 Northern Hemisphere Radiocarbon Age Calibration Curve (0–55 cal kBP). Radiocarbon 62: 725-57.
Membership of IntCal is as follows:
Paula Reimer, Queen's University Belfast UK
William Austin, University of St Andrews UK
Edouard Bard, Cerege France
Alex Bayliss, Historic England UK
Christopher Bronk Ramsey, Oxford University UK
Martin Butzin, AWI Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Germany
Hai Cheng, Xi'an Jiaotong University China
Larry Edwards, University of Minnesota USA
Michael Friedrich, University of Hohenheim Germany
Piet Grootes, Kiel University Germany
Tom Guilderson, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory USA
Irka Hajdas, ETH Switzerland
Tim Heaton, University of Sheffield UK
Alan Hogg, University of Waikato New Zealand
Konrad Hughen, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute USA
Bernd Kromer, Curt-Engelhorn-Centre for Archaeometry Germany
Sturt Manning, Cornell University USA
Raimund Muscheler, Lund University Sweden
Jonathan Palmer, University of New South WalesAustralia
Charlotte Pearson, University of Arizona USA
Hans van der Plicht, University of Groningen Netherlands
Ron Reimer, Queen's University Belfast UK
David Richards, University of Bristol UK
Marian Scott, University of Glasgow UK
John Southon, University of California Irvine USA
Chris Turney, University of New South Wales Australia
Lukas Wacker, ETH Switzerland
Find out more
Professor Paula Reimer
School of Natural and Built Environment
Queen's University Belfast
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