The National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility (NOSAMS) was established with support from the National Science Foundation in 1989 at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. NOSAMS provides analyses of 14C at natural abundance levels to the ocean sciences research community.
Applications include dating of sedimentary deposits, studies of the sources of carbon-bearing materials in sediments and in the marine water column, studies of paleocirculation and ventilation (comparison of 14C differences between planktonic and benthic foraminifera, time series in corals), and detailed studies of circulation and carbon cycling in the modern ocean (three dimensional mapping of the distribution of 14C in dissolved inorganic carbon).
Our routine, reported precision for the Fraction Modern of samples containing greater than 250 micrograms carbon and of modern age is 3-4 permil.
NOSAMS accepts samples from all qualified research laboratories and charges fees that vary according to the difficulty of analysis and the nature of the project. Samples from federally supported research programs receive the lowest rates. Overall, the objective of this facility is to support research in all studies of global change.