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Cosmogenic nuclides: dating of old continental sediments in arid environments

Research areas: Geochemistry, Experimental Condensed Matter Physics, Analytical Chemistry, Method Development

Principal investigators: Prof. Dr. Tibor J. Dunai, Dr. Steven Binnie, Prof. Dr. Alfred Dewald

It is presently difficult, in many cases impossible, to obtain reliable ages for continental sediments that are devoid of age-indicating fossils. This is particularly the case for discontinuously deposited old (>1 Ma) sediments in arid environments, since they are outside the age-range of luminescence and disequilibrium dating techniques (Ankjaergaard et al., 2013; Blisniuk et al., 2012; Lomax et al., 2011; Zander and Hilgers, 2013).

Thus some of the sediments that are in the focus of our attention in this CRC are challenging to date. However, a prerequisite for establishing useful paleoclimatic records (e.g. A02, C04) is that we can reliably date these records. Hence, the aim of this project is to develop novel methodology that allows age determination in otherwise barren material. Our methodology relies on decay of cosmogenic nuclides, acquired by in-situ production and from atmospheric production/deposition, and a novel isotopic system for exposure dating. To address the variability of materials encountered, we will use a multipronged approach.

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Prof. Dr. Tibor J. Dunai
Institute of Geology and Mineralogy | University of Cologne
Zülpicher Str. 49b | 50674 Cologne
+49-(0)221-470 2634 | tduanai@uni-koeln.de
Dr. Maximilian Müller
Institute of Geography | University of Cologne

Otto-Fischer-Str. 4 | 50674 Cologne
+49-(0)221-470 2241 | maximilian.mueller@uni-koeln.de
Deputy Speaker:
Prof. Dr. Martin Melles
Institute of Geology and Mineralogy | University of Cologne

Zülpicher Str. 49a | 50674 Cologne
+49-(0)221-470 2262 | mmelles@uni-koeln.de
© 2017 CRC1211 - Earth - Evolution at the Dry Limit

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