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A review of burial dating methods using super 26 Al and super 10 Be


, : A review of burial dating methods using super 26 Al and super 10 Be. Special Paper - Geological Society of America 415(Pages 1-16

Multiple cosmogenic nuclides with different decay rates can be used to date exposure and burial of rocks over the timescales of radioactive decay. This paper reviews the development of such dating methods over the past approximately 50 years, beginning with a historical perspective on early meteorite studies, and later focusing on recent examples in the terrestrial field using the (super 26) Al- (super 10) Be pair in quartz. Two classes of terrestrial applications are discussed in detail. The first involves the use of (super 26) Al and (super 10) Be in rock or sediment that has experienced a complex history of repeated exposure and burial. In these cases, the cosmogenic nuclides can only provide a minimum near-surface age. Examples include sediment from beneath desert sand dunes, and rocks from beneath cold-based glaciers. The second class of application uses (super 26) Al and (super 10) Be to date discrete burial events, in cases where sediment has experienced a simple history of exposure followed by rapid burial. Examples include cave sediments, alluvial deposits, and sediment buried beneath glacial till. Finally, the half-lives of (super 26) Al and (super 10) Be are discussed, with special attention given to discrepant estimates of the (super 10) Be half-life. It is shown that geologic data are consistent with either half-life estimate of 1.51 m.y. or 1.34 m.y., but more closely conform to the shorter half-life.

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