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The transfer between the ocean shallow layer and the large reservoir of bicarbonates in the ocean depths occurs at a limited rate.--or rather, its relative absence—is therefore used to determine the relative contribution (or mixing ratio) of fossil fuel oxidation to the total carbon dioxide in a given region of the Earth's atmosphere.Dating a specific sample of fossilized carbonaceous material is more complicated.The presence of carbon-14 in the isotopic signature of a sample of carbonaceous material possibly indicates its contamination by biogenic sources or the decay of radioactive material in surrounding geologic strata.

This is small compared to the doses from potassium-40 (0.39 m Sv/year) and radon (variable).

The resulting neutrons ( but attempts to measure the production rate directly in situ were not very successful.

Production rates vary because of changes to the cosmic ray flux caused by the heliospheric modulation (solar wind and solar magnetic field), and due to variations in the Earth's magnetic field.

The fraction of the radiation transmitted through the dead skin layer is estimated to be 0.11.

Small amounts of carbon-14 are not easily detected by typical Geiger–Müller (G-M) detectors; it is estimated that G-M detectors will not normally detect contamination of less than about 100,000 disintegrations per minute (0.05 µCi).

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