Before a time series of climate variability can be developed, the coral growth bands must first be dated. Corals can be dated using radiocarbon dating, U-Th dating and/or Sr-Sr dating.
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- Sr Isotopes
- U-Th Dating
- Lead Isotopes
- Boron Isotopes
- Sr-Nd-Hf Isotopes
Isobar Science and Beta Analytic’s webinar on sediments focuses on dating & environmental reconstructions. This complimentary webinar takes place on December 2, 2021 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada).
Sediments used for climate and environmental reconstructions come in many different forms (including lacustrine, marine, peat, terrestrial and aeolian deposits) and can be characterized by their grain size, shape, sedimentary facies, chemical and biological composition and accumulation/sedimentation rate.
U-Th dating can be used to date various sample types including cave deposits/speleothems, corals, shells, bones and carbonate layers in sedimentary successions.
Isobar Science and Beta Analytic’s bones webinar focuses on C-14 and U-Th methods for bone samples. Topics include optimal sample types, common issues, and how to prepare bone samples for isotopic analysis.
In geochemical research, stable and unstable isotopes are used to understand the chemistry behind natural processes. Isotopes are different forms of a single element, with differing numbers of neutrons within their nucleus, resulting in different atomic masses.
Paleoclimate archives are generally dated using two main methods: radiocarbon and uranium-thorium dating. 14C dating tends to be more accurate, however, it can only be used on samples that are less than around 50,000 years old. Whereas U-Th dating can be used for the last 500,000 years.
Isobar Science and Beta Analytic’s paleclimatology webinar focuses on the importance of C-14 and U-Th dating in paleoclimatology, and how archives can be used to reconstruct past climate.
Shells, corals and other carbonates are widely used in order to assess variability in climate and environmental conditions in time. A variety of stable and radioactive isotopes can be used to date these samples and provide further information on environmental context during their lifespan.
The most optimal samples for accurate U-Th dating are those that exist in closed systems, including speleothems and corals. In some cases, bones and lake sediments may also be used, but the state of your samples should be carefully considered prior to planning your analysis and interpreting U-Th dating results.