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The IntCal20 Northern Hemisphere Radiocarbon Age Calibration Curve (0-55 cal kBP)

Reimer, Paula J. ; Austin, William E.N. ; Bard, Edouard ; Bayliss, Alex ; Blackwell, Paul G. ; Bronk Ramsey, Christopher ; Butzin, Martin ; Cheng, Hai ; Edwards, R. Lawrence and Friedrich, Michael , et al. (2020) In Radiocarbon 62(4). p.725-757
Abstract

Radiocarbon (C) ages cannot provide absolutely dated chronologies for archaeological or paleoenvironmental studies directly but must be converted to calendar age equivalents using a calibration curve compensating for fluctuations in atmospheric C concentration. Although calibration curves are constructed from independently dated archives, they invariably require revision as new data become available and our understanding of the Earth system improves. In this volume the international C calibration curves for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, as well as for the ocean surface layer, have been updated to include a wealth of new data and extended to 55,000 cal BP. Based on tree rings, IntCal20 now extends as a fully atmospheric... (More)

Radiocarbon (C) ages cannot provide absolutely dated chronologies for archaeological or paleoenvironmental studies directly but must be converted to calendar age equivalents using a calibration curve compensating for fluctuations in atmospheric C concentration. Although calibration curves are constructed from independently dated archives, they invariably require revision as new data become available and our understanding of the Earth system improves. In this volume the international C calibration curves for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, as well as for the ocean surface layer, have been updated to include a wealth of new data and extended to 55,000 cal BP. Based on tree rings, IntCal20 now extends as a fully atmospheric record to ca. 13,900 cal BP. For the older part of the timescale, IntCal20 comprises statistically integrated evidence from floating tree-ring chronologies, lacustrine and marine sediments, speleothems, and corals. We utilized improved evaluation of the timescales and location variable C offsets from the atmosphere (reservoir age, dead carbon fraction) for each dataset. New statistical methods have refined the structure of the calibration curves while maintaining a robust treatment of uncertainties in the C ages, the calendar ages and other corrections. The inclusion of modeled marine reservoir ages derived from a three-dimensional ocean circulation model has allowed us to apply more appropriate reservoir corrections to the marine C data rather than the previous use of constant regional offsets from the atmosphere. Here we provide an overview of the new and revised datasets and the associated methods used for the construction of the IntCal20 curve and explore potential regional offsets for tree-ring data. We discuss the main differences with respect to the previous calibration curve, IntCal13, and some of the implications for archaeology and geosciences ranging from the recent past to the time of the extinction of the Neanderthals.

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organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
calibration curve, IntCal20, radiocarbon
in
Radiocarbon
volume
62
issue
4
pages
33 pages
publisher
Arizona Board of Regents (University of Arizona)
external identifiers
  • scopus:85092423467
ISSN
0033-8222
DOI
10.1017/RDC.2020.41
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
71742d08-c44f-46cb-8255-dfd2584ce7c8
date added to LUP
2020-11-04 14:25:26
date last changed
2021-04-15 14:38:48
@article{71742d08-c44f-46cb-8255-dfd2584ce7c8,
  abstract     = {<p>Radiocarbon (C) ages cannot provide absolutely dated chronologies for archaeological or paleoenvironmental studies directly but must be converted to calendar age equivalents using a calibration curve compensating for fluctuations in atmospheric C concentration. Although calibration curves are constructed from independently dated archives, they invariably require revision as new data become available and our understanding of the Earth system improves. In this volume the international C calibration curves for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, as well as for the ocean surface layer, have been updated to include a wealth of new data and extended to 55,000 cal BP. Based on tree rings, IntCal20 now extends as a fully atmospheric record to ca. 13,900 cal BP. For the older part of the timescale, IntCal20 comprises statistically integrated evidence from floating tree-ring chronologies, lacustrine and marine sediments, speleothems, and corals. We utilized improved evaluation of the timescales and location variable C offsets from the atmosphere (reservoir age, dead carbon fraction) for each dataset. New statistical methods have refined the structure of the calibration curves while maintaining a robust treatment of uncertainties in the C ages, the calendar ages and other corrections. The inclusion of modeled marine reservoir ages derived from a three-dimensional ocean circulation model has allowed us to apply more appropriate reservoir corrections to the marine C data rather than the previous use of constant regional offsets from the atmosphere. Here we provide an overview of the new and revised datasets and the associated methods used for the construction of the IntCal20 curve and explore potential regional offsets for tree-ring data. We discuss the main differences with respect to the previous calibration curve, IntCal13, and some of the implications for archaeology and geosciences ranging from the recent past to the time of the extinction of the Neanderthals. </p>},
  author       = {Reimer, Paula J. and Austin, William E.N. and Bard, Edouard and Bayliss, Alex and Blackwell, Paul G. and Bronk Ramsey, Christopher and Butzin, Martin and Cheng, Hai and Edwards, R. Lawrence and Friedrich, Michael and Grootes, Pieter M. and Guilderson, Thomas P. and Hajdas, Irka and Heaton, Timothy J. and Hogg, Alan G. and Hughen, Konrad A. and Kromer, Bernd and Manning, Sturt W. and Muscheler, Raimund and Palmer, Jonathan G. and Pearson, Charlotte and Van Der Plicht, Johannes and Reimer, Ron W. and Richards, David A. and Scott, E. Marian and Southon, John R. and Turney, Christian S.M. and Wacker, Lukas and Adolphi, Florian and Büntgen, Ulf and Capano, Manuela and Fahrni, Simon M. and Friedrich, Ronny and Köhler, Peter and Kudsk, Sabrina and Miyake, Fusa and Olsen, Jesper and Reinig, Frederick and Sakamoto, Minoru and Sookdeo, Adam and Talamo, Sahra},
  issn         = {0033-8222},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {725--757},
  publisher    = {Arizona Board of Regents (University of Arizona)},
  series       = {Radiocarbon},
  title        = {The IntCal20 Northern Hemisphere Radiocarbon Age Calibration Curve (0-55 cal kBP)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/RDC.2020.41},
  doi          = {10.1017/RDC.2020.41},
  volume       = {62},
  year         = {2020},
}