Cosmogenic nuclide dating methods for fossils

cosmogenic nuclide dating methods for fossils

Geochronology is the science of determining the age of rocks, fossils, and sediments using Radiometric dating; Fission-track dating; Cosmogenic nuclide geochronology; Luminescence dating; Incremental dating This technique is used to date speleothems, corals, carbonates, and fossil bones. Five cosmogenic-nuclide burial ages for these sediments range from to Ma. fossil-bearing strata within Riverbluff Cave, Greene County, Missouri .. The technique of “burial dating”using the cosmic ray–pro-. It is called cosmogenic nuclide dating and it allows for rough estimates of the rates of erosion, or exposure times, in different locations (eg. how.

In other words, the Sheepbed rocks are being exposed by a process of scarp retreat. I think the operators of the Curiosity rover have come up with a pretty nifty way of estimating erosion.

Regardless, this suggests that erosion really is happening on Mars.

Geochronology - Wikipedia

Our martian friend hanging out on the surface slowly eroding in the wind. The Curiosity rover snapped this image while driving by. In my interview My Interview with a Martian: A Story of Origins I asked this rock what would happen to him in the future? This was his reply: On the other hand, it is possible that another meteorite could hit near here and cover me with a blanket of rocks in which case those new friends would shield me from erosion and I might live for millions of years to come.

The prediction of 10, years or a bit longer seems about right given these new estimates of the rate of erosion. I had thought maybe he could last another million years but apparently erosion is occurring at a faster pace than I would have guessed. Still, this little rock is but a very small piece of the geological terrain in the area that includes many small meteor craters and many hundreds of meters of rock that have been eroded in the area before our little friend even came to find his way to his present location.

Dating Methods Part 1

Gale crater overview with age estimates. But that lake has been dry for hundreds of millions of years if not billions of years. Since then massive amounts of rock have eroded and small new craters have been created and eroded and then covered with even more debris from other cratering events. All the while wind has been slowing eating away at the rock surfaces and moving material from one place to another.

If we took a snapshot today and came back one million years from now it might look very similar but in many subtle ways the landscape is constantly changing. Rocks are constantly being bombarded with galactic cosmic radiation high-energy protons and alpha particles that hit certain particles to form cosmogenic nuclide's.

Elements like beryllium and aluminum can have radionuclide's such as 10Be and 26Al. These results were not obtained by actual observation over the past million years but were determined using the uniformitarian worldview by watching them for a short time and assuming that the production rate from 9Be to 10Be by natural processes has been constant.


Several assumptions need to be made: There is no way to know the original conditions of the layer being tested. If there was even the slightest amount of the radioactive element in the layer it would greatly skew the final result. If the layer was only exposed for a very short time or a very long time it would have much less or much more of the radioactive element than predicted. If the decay rate of an element is unknown it renders the entire process useless. The RATE team from ICR has done much research experimentation on this subject and have determined that the decay rate in the past may have been thousands of times faster then it is today.

Since it is not possible to determine the original nuclide count in the sample, it is impossible to calculate the age. When a volcano erupts the lava may contain iron that will become magnetized in the direction of the earth's magnetic pole, and will be locked in when it cools and hardens into rock.

Currently the earth's magnetic field is changing direction at the rate of about a few degrees every century.

Cosmogenic Dating Methods Allow Estimates of Erosion Rates on Mars

In the lava layers around the world there is evidence that there have been several magnetic reversals that are believed to take thousands of years to complete, and then when they are finished they can stay that way for millions of years.

With a uniformitarian view of the world: When the fountains of the deep broke open there could have been a worldwide shift of the crust due to "the fountains of the great deep" ejecting the water.

cosmogenic nuclide dating methods for fossils

This kind of catastrophic event could have included rapid subduction that caused multiple reversals to occur rapidly. At Steens Mountain in Oregon there has been palaeomagnetic analysis done on the 9 of the volcanic layers. In these layers there is observed a rapid transition from normal to 90 degrees out of orientation in the magnetic signature.

Using the observed rate of flow from lava in Hawaii it has been determined that each of those 9 layers could have been laid down in as little as 15 days. The researchers that discovered this believed in millions of years, so finding that a magnetic reversal could happen in a few weeks was shocking. This evidence confirms the biblical account of a catastrophic event that caused reversals to occur very rapidly, and that magnetic reversals do not take thousands of years.

If rapid reversals were occurring during the flood event then we would expect to find many layers that have different magnetic orientations. The mineral must then be buried and not exposed to light.

Radioactive elements in the soil and rock release ionizing radiation. The mineral captures the photons from the radiation.

Cosmogenic Dating Methods Allow Estimates of Erosion Rates on Mars – Naturalis Historia

In the lab the mineral is stimulated with laser light. The number of trapped photons is measured with a photomultiplier. The radioactive elements in the mineral are also measured. It is effective for hundreds of thousands of years, and dates how long the sediment has been buried.

cosmogenic nuclide dating methods for fossils

Other methods of dating glacial sediments There are so many other methods of dating Quaternary sediments and organic material that it is impractical to cover them all here in detail. Uranium-series uses the decay of uranium and thorium isotopes U, U and Th in calcites in particular, such as stalactites and stalagmites in caves.

cosmogenic nuclide dating methods for fossils

Potassium-argon and argon-argon dating can be used to date the formation of volcanic rocks. Older marine sediments can be dated using palaeo-magnetism. This is caused by a number of factors, including variations in solar radiation, magnetic storms, and internal geophysical factors.

Unconsolidated sediments contain magnetic minerals, such as those on the continental shelf and slope. These minerals are magnetised during formation.