Inherited age of floating charcoal fragments in a sand-bed stream, Macdonald River, NSW, Australia: Implications for radiocarbon dating of sediments
journal contributionposted on 2023-09-04, 22:41 authored by Russell Blong, Kirstie Fryirs, Rachel Wood, Fleur KingFleur King, Larissa Schneider, Emilie Dotte-Sarout, Stewart Fallon, Richard Gillespie, Qianyang Chen, Rebecca Esmay
Radiocarbon dates on multiple individual charcoal fragments floating together down the Macdonald River, New South Wales, Australia, have calibrated ages spanning >1700 years. Partial explanations of this range of inherited ages can be attributed to the inbuilt age of living biomass, charcoalisation conditions, hillslope transport and storage and/or valley floor (fluvial) transport and storage, but the contribution of each of these components can be constrained only rarely. These results caution against using radiocarbon dating of charcoal as the sole dating technique to interpret Late-Holocene sedimentary histories. These findings also show that it is unlikely that deposit age has a dependable relationship to charcoal age.