Olinesex chat - Cosmogenic nuclide burial dating

Cosmogenic nuclides are produced in mineral grains by secondary cosmic rays that penetrate the topmost few meters of soil and rock at the ground surface.

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These include (1) surface exposure dating of rock and soil, (2) determining erosion rates of rock and soil from samples at the surface and at depth, (3) determining spatially averaged erosion rates from sediment, and (4) inferring chemical ero- sion rates using a geochemical mass balance approach.

Cosmogenic nuclides can also be used in many other ways, including dating sediment burial by radioactive decay.

The interested reader is referred to the article on burial dating in archaeology and paleoanthropology by Granger (Chapter 14.7).

| Using cosmogenic nuclides in glacial geology | Sampling strategies cosmogenic nuclide dating | Difficulties in cosmogenic nuclide dating | Calculating an exposure age | Further Reading | References | Comments | Cosmogenic nuclide dating can be used to determine rates of ice-sheet thinning and recession, the ages of moraines, and the age of glacially eroded bedrock surfaces.

Weathering and erosion encapsulate a diverse suite of processes that sculpt landscapes, generate soil, and deliver sediments, nutrients, and solutes to streams and the oceans.

Quantifying chemical and physical erosion rates is important across a diverse range of disciplines in geology, geomorphology, and biogeochemistry.

Yet, until recently, erosion rates have been difficult to quantify over the timescales of soil formation and transport.

This article describes how cosmogenic nuclide methods have provided a wealth of new opportunities for dating surfaces, measuring denudation rates, and quantifying chemical erosion rates.

Cosmogenic nuclide dating uses the interactions between cosmic rays and nuclides in glacially transported boulders or glacially eroded bedrock to provide age estimates for rock at the Earth’s surface.

It is an excellent way of directly dating glaciated regions.

It is particularly useful in Antarctica[1], because of a number of factors[2]: Cosmogenic nuclide dating is effective over short to long timescales (1,000-10,000,000 years), depending on which isotope you are dating.

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