Sample Types

The KCCAMS facility routinely accepts a wide range of sample types, including charcoal, wood, seed, carbonates, animal remains, CO2, and bulk aerosol. The minimum sample size for a routine 14C measurement is 0.8-1 mg C. Smaller sample sizes (10-100 ug C) can be analyzed at reduced precision upon special request.

Other sample types (including DOC, DIC, OC/EC aerosol fractions, and CH4) may be analyzed upon special request and/or as part of research collaborations with KCCAMS faculty and researchers.

Sample type Sample size
Not requiring cleaning
Shells, foraminifera, coral 10 mg dry weight
Requiring cleaning
Shells, foraminifera, coral Contact staff
C-rich organics*
Not requiring physical and chemical cleaning
Wood, charcoal, seeds, macrofossils 2.5 mg dry weight
Bulk aerosol on quartz filter Contact staff
Requiring physical and chemical cleaning
Wood, charcoal, seeds, macrofossils 5 mg dry weight
Lake sediments, peat** 10 mg dry weight
Pure CO2 1 cc (@STP)
CO2 in ambient air 1 L
CH4 Contact staff
Graphite (incl. standards & blanks) Contact staff
Small samples (0-100 ug C) Contact staff
Swipes to check for contamination Contact staff
Bone (well preserved) 25 mg dry weight
Collagen 2.5 mg dry weight
Dissolved inorganic carbon (fresh or salt waters) Contact staff
Dissolved organic carbon Contact staff
Dissolved CH4 Contact staff

*For low-carbon organic material the carbon content can vary widely and no estimate for the preferred minimum sample size can be given. For more details contact KCCAMS staff.

**We discourage the dating of bulk soil, peat, or sediments, because those materials are often a mixture of components with widely differing ages.

KCCAMS sample preparation laboratory


W. M. Keck Carbon Cycle Accelerator Facility 
Department of Earth System Science
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-3100, USA

Paleoclimate &
Accelerator Mass Spectrometry

J. Southon (
H. Martinez De La Torre (
G. Santos (
B321 Croul Hall
Phone: +1 949 824-3674

Marine Biogeochemistry
E. Druffel (
S. Griffin (
2212 Croul Hall
Phone: +1 949 824-3286

Terrestrial Biogeochemistry,
Aerosol & MICADAS

X. Xu (
C. Czimczik (
G. Santos (
2222 & 2313 Croul Hall
Phone: +1 949 824-3444