Abstract

Radiocarbon analyses of organic materials provide accurate dating of flood events in the Katherine Gorge, Northern Territory, Australia. Selected flood events in the period 1955–1980 can be very precisely dated, essentially to the calendar year, through the use of curves showing the time variation of anomalously high 14C activity in the troposphere that was generated by nuclear testing. Conventional radiocarbon analysis of alluvial charcoal and organic litter is used to establish dates for the largest Katherine River floods of the past several centuries. The improved geochronologic techniques demonstrated here will help improve paleoflood hydrologic interpretations.

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