Cosmogenic Nuclide Laboratory

Shaun R. Eaves, Julia A. Collins, R. Selwyn Jones , Kevin P. Norton, Stephen G. Tims, Andrew N.

The CRONUS-Earth Project: A synthesis

Our leaders are working closely with federal and state officials to ensure your ongoing safety at the university. Stay up to date with the latest developments. Learn more. Geological surface-exposure dating using cosmogenic-nuclide accumulation became a practical geochronological endeavor in , when the utility of Be, Al, Cl, and He-3 were all demonstrated. The goal of the CRONUS-Earth Project was to improve the accuracy and precision of terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide dating in general, focusing especially on nuclide production rates and their variation with altitude, latitude, and time, and to attempt to move from empirically based methods to ones with a stronger basis in physics.

The CRONUS-Earth Project conducted extensive intercomparisons of reference materials to attempt to quantify analytical reproducibility at the community level.

Cosmogenic nuclides are routinely used to investigate deglaciation histories by exposure dating of rock surfaces after glacier retreat. For bedrock surfaces that.

Cosmic-ray exposure dating of preserved, seismically exhumed limestone normal fault scarps has been used to identify the last few major earthquakes on seismogenic faults and recover their ages and displacements through the modelling of the content of in situ [ 36 Cl] cosmonuclide of the scarp rocks. However, previous studies neglected some parameters that contribute to 36 Cl accumulation and the uncertainties on the inferred earthquake parameters were not discussed.

Through a series of synthetic profiles, we examine the effects of each factor on the resulting [ 36 Cl], and quantify the uncertainties related to the variability of those factors. Those most affecting the concentrations are rock composition, site location, shielding resulting from the geometry of the fault scarp and associated colluvium, and scarp denudation. In addition, 36 Cl production mechanisms and rates are still being refined, but the importance of these epistemic uncertainties is difficult to assess.

We then examine how pre-exposure and exposure histories of fault-zone materials are expressed in [ 36 Cl] profiles. We show that the 36 Cl approach allows unambiguous discrimination of sporadic slip versus continuous creep on these faults. By contrast, the modelling cannot discriminate whether a slip event is a single event or is composed of multiple events made of temporally clustered smaller size events.


Take the virtual tour of the Cosmogenic Nuclide Lab. Because we know the rates at which these isotopes are produced, the concentrations of cosmogenic nuclides in rock, soil, sediment, etc. The facilities include 2 HF rated extraction hoods and one laminar flow hood, Parr pressure dissolution oven, as well as analytical balances and centrifuge.

2 Cosmogenic nuclide production on earth 9. Introduction 9. Artificial targets to refine production rate scaling factors for surface exposure dating

Crystalline rock types and soils collect energy from the radioactive decay of cosmic uranium, thorium, and potassium Electrons from these substances get trapped in the mineral’s crystalline structure, and continuing exposure of the rocks to these elements over time leads to predictable increases in the number of electrons caught in the matrices. But when the rock is exposed to high enough levels of heat or light, that exposure causes vibrations in the mineral lattices and the trapped electrons are freed.

Luminescence dating is a collective term for dating methods that encompass thermoluminescence TL and optically stimulated luminescence OSL dating techniques. OSL is also less commonly referred to as optical dating, photon stimulated luminescence dating or photoluminescence dating.. Luminescence dating methods are based on the ability of some mineral grains to absorb and store energy from environmental ionizing radiation emanating from the immediate surroundings of the mineral grains as well as from cosmic radiation.

When stimulated these minerals, generally referred to as dosimeters, will release the stored energy in the form of visible light; hence the term luminescence. Measuring the energy and determining the rate at which the energy accumulated allows an age representing the time that has elapsed since the energy began accumulating to be determined. Stimulation of energy release using heat is termed TL while stimulation using light is referred to as OSL.

The age range of luminescence methods generally spans from a few decades to about , years, though ages exceeding several hundred thousand years have been reported in some studies. Like 14 C dating, thermoluminescence is related to radioactive decay. Thermoluminescence is produced by radioactive decay particles electrons , trapped in mineral grains. Heating the mineral or exposure to light releases electrons, and produces a flash of light, setting the clock to 0 maybe only partial. Thereafter, luminescence accumulation is proportional to age.

GSA Today Archive

The Earth is constantly bombarded by galactic cosmic rays, which primarily consist of protons. This secondary cosmic ray shower is rapidly attenuated as it travels down into the atmosphere. Only a very small fraction of the secondary cosmic rays, which mostly consist of neutrons, reach the surface of the Earth.

In simple exposure dating, the nuclide concentration is proportional only to the exposure time. Not so for eroding surfaces. Think of steady erosion as rock being.

Surface exposure dating using cosmic-ray-produced nuclides has been applied to determine the age of thousands of landforms produced by alpine glaciers in mountain areas worldwide. These data are potentially an extensive, easily accessible, and globally distributed paleoclimate record. In particular, exposure-dated glacier chronologies are commonly applied to study the dynamics of massive, abrupt climate changes characteristic of the transition between the Last Glacial Maximum and the present interglacial climate.

This article reviews developments in exposure dating from the perspective of whether this goal is achievable and concludes that a individual exposure-dated landforms cannot, in general, be associated with millennial-scale climate events at high confidence, but b dating uncertainties appear to be geographically and temporally unbiased, so the data set as a whole can be used to gain valuable insight into regional and global paleoclimate dynamics.

Future applications of exposure-age chronologies of glacier change should move away from reliance on individual dated landforms and toward synoptic analysis of the global data set. Earth Planet.

Terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide dating

How can we date rocks? Using cosmogenic nuclides in glacial geology Sampling strategies cosmogenic nuclide dating Difficulties in cosmogenic nuclide dating Calculating an exposure age Further Reading References Comments. Geologists taking rock samples in Antarctica for cosmogenic nuclide dating. They use a hammer and chisel to sample the upper few centimetres of the rock.

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.

first noble gas cosmogenic surface exposure age obtained from a basaltic bomb. This paper illustrates the advantages of using two nuclides (3He and 21Ne) for.

Entries in the Antarctic Master Data Directory that relate to cosmogenic-nuclide exposure-age data. This list was put together simply by full-text search of the ADMD for words such as “cosmogenic,” “exposure-age,” and related terms. Information in cells that are red, yellow, or green is my commentary. If it has so far been possible to obtain a decent amount of the data described in the entry, typically by following links but often by more devious methods, the cell is green.

If not, it’s red. Intermediate results are yellow. Information in cells that are not red, yellow, or green is directly pulled from the ADMD entry. Total ADMD entries: 34 Data as described and easily accessible green : 14 Data sort of accessible or accessible elsewhere if you have special knowledge yellow : 10 Data not yet accessible in a form resembling what was described: The data set consist of in-situ cosmogenic Be and Al surface exposure ages for subglacial erratics in the Vestfold Hills.

Following the link from the ADMD entry generated a result that “the file you have tried to download is not available for public access. This data base contains information on cosmogenic helium-3 and beryllium surface exposure dates on Ross Sea Drift moraine boulders from Hjorth Hill, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica 77 degrees 31′ South, degrees 37′ East. This study was designed to combine surficial ages with a Ground Penetrating Radar data set generated by Dr.

Impact of glacial isostatic adjustment on cosmogenic surface-exposure dating.

Methods based on cosmic-ray produced nuclides are key to improve our understanding of the Earth surface dynamic. Measuring multiple cosmogenic nuclides in the same rock sample has a great potential, but data interpretation requires rigorous and often complex mathematical treatments. The paleoaltimetry method is new and described in [ 1 ]. The burial age method is already widely used e.

Codes available here as supplementary material. In the case of ancient exposures, the burial age has to be known and be accounted for radioactive decay.

Cosmogenic nuclide inventories also contribute fundamental information stages, deduced from cosmogenic isotope (10Be and 26Al) surface exposure dating.

Email: mirjam. Cosmogenic nuclides allow determination of surface exposure ages, bedrock erosion rates, incision rates, catchemnt-wide erosion rates, and soil production rates. There are several aspects to Dr. She has analyzed river sediment from four European rivers to determine the catchment-wide erosion rates of medium altitude mountain ranges. The long-term erosion rates derived from cosmogenic nuclides are higher than rates derived from river load gauging.

These findings indicate that the human impact on erosion rates is minor in drainage areas of European medium altitude mountain ranges. Furthermore, sediments from terrace deposits of known age revealed information about catchment-wide paleo-erosion rates.

13–Introduction to Quaternary Geochronology (LIPI Indonesia lectures 2013)