Beryllium 10 cosmogenic dating
These results highlight the problems associated with using surface cobbles and boulders to date Quaternary surfaces in Death Valley and emphasizes the need to combine multiple, different dating methods to accurately date landforms in similar dryland regions elsewhere in the world.
Some cosmic ray particles reach the surface of the earth and contribute to the natural background radiation environment.So, I’ve now left my samples there with the lab staff for a series of etches with hydrofluoric and nitric acid.I’m heading back in about a month to finish the samples off and then run them on the mass spectrometer.Any magnetically charged particles are attracted to this and taken down a separate track, into a separate container.The non-magnetic particles (such as quartz), aren’t attracted, and take a separate route (see video below).
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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.