POLPAL, Depth-Age application

Manual to the DepthAge program for interpolating a depth-age relationship from radiocarbon dates with the possibility of subjective interpretation of the lithology data

The program DepthAge.exe is able to read the data in the simplest possible text form. The input data are:

1. Radiocarbon dates. There are comprised of four numbers; two for sample upper and lower boundary (i.e. depth, in cm, for example), and two for the 14C date. The 14C can be conventional or calibrated (in the second case, the Calibrated button should be marked up, see the figure below). Conventional 14C date comprise of date and its error, Calibrated date comprise of two boundaries, older one and younger one (the confidence level, 95% or 68% is up to the user). The example is: 320 330 cm 4300 +120, the numbers are to be separated by any non-number, for example space or letters. The zero age, say at zero depth can also be included: 0 2 cm 0 20, here, the surface depth precision is estimated to 2cm, and the surface age to 20yr. Those dates are used to the optional automatic (mathematical) depth-age curve drawing.

2. Lithology data. It is simply the column of a numbers of depths (in the same units as used above, cm recommended). Those data are used only for plotting horizontal lines which help user to draw manually the depth-age curve. The column starts with the caption Lithology (see the figure below).

3. Depths to be recalculated to ages. It is the column of a numbers of depths (with the caption Depth) which can be recalculated to ages, if the depth-age curve is already drowned.

The numbers are to be written down or pasted from Excel or Word or any other program to the upper text field. The depths can be taken from POLPAL Table, using the menu option Clipboard/Copy column with cursor placed at the first (depth) column.

The text field below, where the program writes, is for checking if data are read down by the program correctly. However, the main result. i.e. the calculated ages are available there.

Operation of the program:

0. Fill the upper text field with the data (Lithology is optional, Depth is necessary only to the final step).

1. Press the button 1. Plot.

2. Press one (or more) of the buttons available at the upper-right corner under the caption Curve fitting OR do it yourself. The last option is subjective one. While it is good to see what mathematics tell us, only scientist can fully exploit the information available. Manual depth-age curve creation is performed by clicking the plot area with the mouse (the last click, ending the curve is to be done with Ctrl key pressed down).

3. Press the button 3. Read ages.

4. Copy ages (Ctrl-C) to Clipboard and paste it to the POLPAL table (Clipboard/Paste column) or Excel.

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