Cosmogenic surface exposure dating

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It was discovered about a decade ago that cosmic ray interaction with silica and oxygen in quartz produced measurable amounts of the isotopes Beryllium-10 and Aluminium-26.

In rock and other materials of similar density, most of the cosmic ray flux is absorbed within the first meter of exposed material in reactions that produce new isotopes called cosmogenic nuclides.Theoretically, exposures of surfaces from between a few thousand to about 10 million years old can be dated by the measurement of the Be-10 and Al-26 isotopes. | 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.At Earth's surface most of these nuclides are produced by neutron spallation.Cosmogenic surface exposure dating has been applied to date numerous moraines worldwide.

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