Reservoir offset models for Radiocarbon calibration

Martin Jones and Geoff Nicholls


The purpose of a reservoir offset is to enable the application of
calibration data ($mu(theta)$, emph{e.g.}
shortciteNP{stuiver:98}) developed for one reservoir (primary
reservoir) to CRA's from another (secondary reservoir). The
usual approach has been to define the activity of the secondary
reservoir as some form of constant offset (with error) from the
primary reservoir (emph{e.g.} citeNP{stuiver93:_model_bc}). In
this case CRA's from a secondary reservoir are not independent.
However, the standard procedure for incorporating offset error
into calibrated distributions assumes that the CRA's from
secondary reservoirs are independent ({it e.g.}
citeNP{stuiver93b}), accordingly the calibrated distributions are
incorrect. In many cases this calculation error will be
insignificant, however the calculation error will be significant
in some situations and approaches such as sample based Bayesian
inference need to be adopted if a non independent reservoir
offset is applied.

Corresponding author, Martin Jones,
"Martin Jones" <>

radiocarbon, Bayesian inference, reservoir correction

Math Review Classification
Primary 62F15 (primary), ; Secondary 62-01 (secondary)

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