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Fortunately it is rarely necessary to use radiocarbon methods to date very recent samples.Thirdly, it is in the nature of the method that it can only be applied to organic remains: it makes no sense to apply it to rocks or to mineralized fossils.This increases the apparent age of the sample by about 400 years, depending on where in the ocean the organism lived and died.Given a latitude and longitude, an appropriate correction to the date is supplied by the Marine Reservoir Database.One of the nice things about this method is that we don't have to worry about carbon being lost from the sample.

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Clearly applying radiometric dating in such a case is pointless.

After about 60,000 years the quantity will be too small for our instruments to measure accurately, and the best we'll be able to say is that the sample is about 60,000 years old or more.

For this reason radiocarbon dating is of more interest to archaeologists than to geologists.

Although the radiocarbon dates agree closely with dendrochronology, they do not agree exactly.

It is generally agreed that the dendrochronological dates should be considered the more accurate.

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