Dating exposed surface contexts

The excess relative to natural abundance of cosmogenic nuclides in a rock sample is usually measured by means of accelerator mass spectrometry.

Both can be used individually to date how long the material has been exposed at the surface.Accordingly, by measuring the concentration of these cosmogenic nuclides in a rock sample, and accounting for the flux of the cosmic rays and the half-life of the nuclide, it is possible to estimate how long the sample has been exposed to the cosmic rays.The cumulative flux of cosmic rays at a particular location can be affected by several factors, including elevation, geomagnetic latitude, the varying intensity of the Earth's magnetic field, solar winds, and atmospheric shielding due to air pressure variations.Surface exposure dating is a collection of geochronological techniques for estimating the length of time that a rock has been exposed at or near Earth's surface.Surface exposure dating is used to date glacial advances and retreats, erosion history, lava flows, meteorite impacts, rock slides, fault scarps, cave development, and other geological events.

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