Tidal-marsh sediment is an archive of Holocene environmental changes, including movements of sea and land levels, and extreme events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Accurate and precise radiocarbon dating of environmental changes is necessary to estimate rates of change and the recurrence interval (frequency) of events. Plant macrofossils preserved in growth position (or deposited soon after death) in tidal-marsh sediment are ideal samples for dating such changes. In this chapter, we focus on the selection of plant macrofossils for radiocarbon dating and the application of ages from different types of macrofossils to varied research projects, and make recommendations for selection and preparation of tidal-marsh samples for dating.
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Radiocarbon dating of plant macrofossils from tidal-marsh sediment