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Suggested terminology for quaternary dating methods

It is important not to confuse geochronologic and chronostratigraphic units.In the same way, it is entirely possible to go and visit an Upper Cretaceous Series deposit - such as the Hell Creek deposit where the Tyrannosaurus fossils were found - but it is naturally impossible to visit the Late Cretaceous Epoch as that is a period of time.

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A series of related techniques for determining the age at which a geomorphic surface was created (exposure dating), or at which formerly surficial materials were buried (burial dating).Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.Geochronology is the science of determining the age of rocks, fossils, and sediments, within a certain degree of uncertainty inherent to the method used.Burial dating uses the differential radioactive decay of 2 cosmogenic elements as a proxy for the age at which a sediment was screened by burial from further cosmic rays exposure.Luminescence dating techniques observe 'light' emitted from materials such as quartz, diamond, feldspar, and calcite.Biostratigraphy does not directly provide an absolute age determination of a rock, but merely places it within an interval of time at which that fossil assemblage is known to have coexisted.

Both disciplines work together hand in hand however, to the point they share the same system of naming rock layers and the time spans utilized to classify layers within a strata.

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Exposure dating uses the concentration of exotic nuclides (e.g.

Cl) produced by cosmic rays interacting with Earth materials as a proxy for the age at which a surface, such as an alluvial fan, was created.

A number of radioactive isotopes are used for this purpose, and depending on the rate of decay, are used for dating different geological periods.