Recent radiocarbon dating

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Hence, there are large analytical uncertainties in samples younger than ~ 100,000 years, and its primary use has been in dating volcanic rocks formed over the last 30 million years (though, theoretically, rocks as old as 10 years could be dated by this method).Dating is usually carried out on minerals such as sanidine, plagioclase, biotite, hornblende, and olivine in volcanic lavas and tuffs.Uncertainties related to detrital wood ages can be minimized by dating several fragments of wood.Assuming that each radiocarbon age is reliable, the youngest age will be nearest the age of the landslide.

Some landslides can be dated indirectly, using plant material contained within sediments deposited in an upstream lake impounded behind the debris dam or within outburst flood sediments deposited when the dam is breached by overflow.Thus, the method is used for dating volcanic rocks that contain no argon after the molten lava has cooled, thereby setting the isotopic “clock” to zero.With the passage of time, K, the production of argon is extremely slow.As such, there is no certainty that the organism was killed by the landslide, which is the conceptual assumption many researchers make when interpreting radiocarbon ages on such fossils.More correctly, the derived ages should be considered “maxima” for the time of the event.

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