Samples description form

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					         Submission of samples for radiocarbon analysis                                                                                                     An electronic version of this form is available from
                                                                                    NERC RADIOCARBON FACILITY (ENVIRONMENT)
Section A.          SUBMITTER INFORMATION                          (if necessary, copy and use additional worksheets)
Name                                                                                        Possible contamination

Address                                                                                     Purpose of     C age determinations

Samples collection method                                                                   Publications and previous       C measurements on or relating to samples

Treatment and storage

I CONFIRM THAT THE SAMPLES SUBMITTED FOR ANALYSIS WILL NOT POSE ANY KNOWN OR SUSPECTED HAZARD FOR RCL STAFF AND                                             SIGNATURE:                                                    DATE:
DO THE SAMPLES REQUIRE A DEFRA LICENCE? (delete as applicable)      Y/N

 Allocation                                                                   Collection                                        Latitude        Longitude                                                             Stratigraphic       Estimated
                                                                                                                                  o               o
  number           Unique sample identifier*          Sample collector          date                   Location                    N/S             E/W         Nature of sample          In situ environment          position (cm)       Age (BP)

* Sample identifier should be identical to the label on the submitted sample. If from a stratigraphical sequence, include depth in sample identifier.
Please email the completed form to: and enclose a printed AND SIGNED copy when submitting samples

  Guidance on sample size and containment is general. For specific queries please contact the NRCF (Environment) directly,
                                               quoting your allocation no.

Sample size
Routine AMS
                    A minimum of 1 mg of carbon is required, although to optimise precision >3-5 mg of carbon is preferred.
                    Larger samples (e.g. of atleast 1 g of carbon) that were formerly analysed using the Radiometric method
                    can still be submitted, but will be analysed by AMS

NB - Sample size refers to weight of carbon and therefore total amount of material required depends on %carbon and moisture
content of sample.

Sample containment
AMS                Ideally, samples should be contained in small glass vials which have been previously cleaned and rinsed
                   with distilled water. Ensure adequate protection is provided for samples submitted by post, but please avoid
                   using polystyrene packing. NB the NRCF (Environment) can supply suitable containers for submission of
                   foraminifera samples - please contact the lab if these are required.
Large samples      These may be submitted in small cleaned vials, or larger samples may be wrapped in aluminium foil or
(e.g. >1 g carbon) contained in sealed plastic bags.

Sample description record
The information requested is essential to ensure unambiguous identification of samples, and to assist in determining the
appropriate method for sample processing. Completion of this record sheet should, therefore, be regarded as integral to the
overall dating effort. Each section must be completed in full before the sample(s) can be formally accepted for analysis. Please
complete the electronic form, email a copy to the NRCF (Environment), and enclose a printed copy with the submitted samples.

An electronic version of the sample description sheet can be downloaded from

The following notes are designed to clarify the exact nature of the information required:

SECTION A.          Was the sample collected by coring, from an existing or freshly exposed profile, or in the course of
                    excavation? If none of these, give details.

                    Was the sample treated in any way after collection, viz., washed, sieved, oven dried, etc.? Give details of
                    sample containment and storage conditions since collection.

                    Record any possible sources of non-contemporaneous carbon in the in situ sample, e.g. rootlet penetration,
                    percolation of water from adjacent strata, exposure to weathering or fungal growth, etc. Does the sample
                    derive from a limestone or hard water region?

                    Is there any possibility of foreign material having been introduced into the sample either during recovery or
                    its subsequent storage, e.g. brush hairs, grease or paint from tools, wood shavings, paper or plastic
                    fragments from packaging, fungal growth? If any form of chemical preservation has been applied it is
                    imperative that full details of this treatment are provided.

                    Give a brief account of the problem which it is hoped that C-14 analysis will answer. In particular, is the
                    sample associated with a specific climatic or cultural phase or with other chronological indicators such as
                    palaeobotanical horizons?

                    Dates should be referenced with their laboratory code number and where appropriate details of their

SECTION B.          If the samples may pose a hazard to NRCF (Environment) staff the lab must be informed before sample
                    submission, otherwise please sign the Health & Safety declaration. Note that the NRCF (Environment)
                    cannot process samples stabilised with Mercuric Chloride.

SECTION C.          Sample identifiers should be identical to the labels on the submitted samples. If from a stratigraphical
                    sequence, include depth in the sample identifier.

                    Give geographical name of sampling location, e.g. Farm Wood Quarry, Chelford, Cheshire. If site is a
                    significant distance from nearest named landmark this fact should be noted, e.g. 2.5 km NW of Farm Wood

                    Give popular name plus, if at all possible, the scientific nomenclature e.g. waterlogged wood (Quercus ),
                    marine shell (Arctica islandica ).

                    Record geological environment and/or lithology from which the sample was recovered, e.g. bog, glacial till,
                    solifluction deposit, freshwater or marine sediment, etc.

                    If buried, record the depth increment from which the sample was recovered relative to the present land
                    surface or mud/water interface in the case of aquatic sediments.