University of Oulu

Pearson, C., Leavitt, S., Kromer, B., Solanki, S., & Usoskin, I. (2022). DENDROCHRONOLOGY AND RADIOCARBON DATING. Radiocarbon, 64(3), 569-588. doi:10.1017/RDC.2021.97

Dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating

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Author: Pearson, Charlotte L1; Leavitt, Steven W1; Kromer, Bernd2;
Organizations: 1Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, Tucson, AZ, USA
2Institute of Environmental Physics, Heidelberg University, Germany
3Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
4Space Physics and Astronomy Research Unit and Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Cambridge University Press, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-10-25


Both dendrochronology and radiocarbon (¹⁴C) dating have their roots back in the early to mid-1900s. Although they were independently developed, they began to intertwine in the 1950s when the founder of dendrochronology, A. E. Douglass, provided dated wood samples for Willard Libby to test his emerging ¹⁴C methods. Since this early connection, absolutely dated tree-rings have been key to calibration of the Holocene portion of the ¹⁴C timescale. In turn, ¹⁴C dating of non-calendar-dated tree-rings has served to place those samples more precisely in time, advance development of long tree-ring chronologies, and bring higher resolution to earlier portions of the ¹⁴C calibration curve. Together these methods continue to shape and improve chronological frameworks across the globe, answering questions in archaeology, history, paleoclimatology, geochronology, and ocean, atmosphere, and solar sciences.

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Series: Radiocarbon
ISSN: 0033-8222
ISSN-E: 1945-5755
ISSN-L: 0033-8222
Volume: 64
Issue: 3
Pages: 569 - 588
DOI: 10.1017/rdc.2021.97
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: CP acknowledges support from the Malcolm H. Wiener Foundation. IU acknowledges support of the Academy of Finland (project No. 321882 ESPERA).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 321882
Detailed Information: 321882 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press for the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.