Dating of speleothems

However, the reservoir effect may be of minor importance when compared to contamination with younger carbon.

by Holli Riebeek · design by Robert Simmon · June 28, 2005 The first pieces of evidence for climate change came from the land itself, from the misplaced boulders scattered across much of the Northern Hemisphere, though there were other signs as well.

However in other works large spread of data points has been obtained.

Comparison with the C dates of speleothems are commonly treated with caution, because of the reservoir effect, producing an apparent age, which is usually not accurately known.

A deep cavern dips into the New Mexico desert, shielding spiky icicle-like rocks that hang from the ceiling and the rounded columns that grow from the floor in a myriad of shapes.

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As the ice melted, water swept the dust out from under the glaciers into streams along the edge of the ice.

Geologists refer to the mineral formations in caves as “speleothems.” While the water flows, the speleothems grow in thin, shiny layers.

The amount of growth is an indicator of how much ground water dripped into the cave.

Uranium from the surrounding bedrock seeps into the water and forms a carbonate that becomes part of each layer of the speleothem as it forms.

Uranium decays into thorium, which sticks to the clay in the bedrock instead of seeping into ground water and from there into the speleothem.


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