The UW's Quaternary Isotope Laboratory

About the Lab

The Quaternary Isotope Lab of the University of Washington, under the direction of Dr. Minze Stuiver, has been active in research involving both stable isotopes (18O and 13C) and radiometric isotopes (14C).

18O, recovered from the permanent ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica, is being used to construct a high-detail paleoclimate record going back to the last interglacial period (>110000 years, in the case of the Greenland ice core) and beyond (The Antarctic Taylor Dome core record exceeds 150000 years). The ratio of 18O/16O varies in approximate proportion to the temperature at the time the original precipitation occured.

14C, as stored in tree rings, is being measured to accurately determine the atmospheric 14C levels of the last 10000+ years. This is essential in getting precise dates for historic and prehistoric materials. It can also be used as a tool to indirectly determine solar activity and ocean circulation changes.

Contact Information

E-mail address:
Web home page:
Mailing address: Quaternary Isotope Lab
University of Washington
Campus Box 351360
Seattle, Washington 98195-1360
Dr. Stuiver's e-mail address is

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All contents 1998, 1999 Quaternary Isotope Lab
This page was last modified 05/27/99 by TLS