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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.Researchers suggested that the accumulation of these isotopes within a rock surface could be used to establish how long that surface was exposed to the atmosphere.Marc is an AMS guru who has worked in the field and lab with us from the start. First at Livermore and now at Purdue running the PRIME facility Marc is happy in both the field and the lab. C., Caffee, M., Finkel, R., and Larsen, J., 2007, Timing of surficial process changes down a Mojave Desert piedmont: Quaternary Research, v. W., and Larsen, J., 2005, Using cosmogenic nuclides to contrast rates of erosion and sediment yield in a semi-arid, arroyo-dominated landscape, Rio Puerco Basin, New Mexico: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, v. R., Caffee, M., Finkel, R., and Larsen, J., 2005, Cosmogenically enabled sediment budgeting: Geology, v. Washington University, Physics, 1986 Ancient Glacial Surfaces, Minnesota and Baffin Island 10-Be Production Rates, Laurentide Moraines Eroding the Susquehanna Basin New England Deglacial History North American Granites Oregon Coast Range Erosion Rates Soil Profiles, Georgia and Australia Deglaciation and Inheritance, Wisconsin Extreme Erosion Rates - Venezuela and Alaska Arroyo Chavez Colorado Front Range, River Incision Rates and Moraine Ages Fish Springs Fans and Earthquakes Lone Pine Fans and Earthquakes Mojave Desert Sediment Dynamics Rio Puerco Erosion Rates Namibian Bedrock Bhutan Erosion Rates Australian Inselbergs Israeli Fault Scarps Marc's Purdue University web page Purdue University Department of Physics PRIME Lab [email protected] of Physics and Associate Department Head Department of Physics Physics S177Purdue University525 Northwestern Avenue West Lafayette, IN 47907 Telephone: (765) 494-5381 Nichols, K. R., Caffee, M., and Finkel, R., 2006, Dates and rates of arid region geomorphic processes: GSA Today, v.
On both Baffin Island and in southwestern Minnesota, we sampled outcrops that had complex exposure histories and used multiple cosmogenic nuclides to decipher those histories.
Cosmogenic isotopes are created when elements in the atmosphere or earth are bombarded by high energy particles (-mesons and protons, collectively known as cosmic rays) that penetrate into the atmosphere from outer space.
Some cosmic ray particles reach the surface of the earth and contribute to the natural background radiation environment.
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.
Cosmic rays that have sufficient energy to break the intranuclear bonds of nucleons interact with nuclei in minerals exposed within the upper few meters of the Earth's surface.