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The laboratory reported that the dried residue consisted of needles with a carbon content normal for organic material.
A very short chlorite bleach treatment then had to be used because the sample rapidly oxidized.
has similarly reported measurable radiocarbon in ancient organic materials, well above the threshold of the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) analytical technology used, including ten samples of US coals spanning 45-300 million years of the conventional timescale for the geologic record.
Meticulous laboratory procedures rule out the possibility that this measured radiocarbon is due to contamination, so it must instead be intrinsic to these ancient organic materials.
The specimen was kindly provided by geologist David M.
Vardiman, who at the time was working for the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company, the current operators of the mine.
The original trees were undoubtedly conifers, probably belonging to a species of In July 1947, a small piece of coalified wood, measuring almost 3 centimeters in length (Figure 2), was found in a "sand bed" within rock, possibly sand-sized volcanic breccia (tuff and rock fragments) intruded by the lamprophyre pipe, on the 17th level of the underground workings, some 1,700 feet below the surface.
After being carefully packaged and labeled, this sample was submitted with the required documentation to Professor Roelf Beukens at the Iso Trace Radiocarbon Laboratory at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada.
At this laboratory, the sample was prepared for analysis with a modified AAAOx pretreatment, the standard procedure developed to guarantee the elimination of any contamination.
The complex was formed by explosive volcanism from multiple coalescing eruptive centers, episodic intrusion of alkaline igneous rocks (ranging from phonolite to lamprophyre), development of funnel-shaped breccia pipes, and repeated eruption and subsidence cycles.
A two-phased mineralizing event closely followed emplacement of the volcanic complex.