Frequently Asked Questions on Uranium-Thorium Dating

1. What are the general guidelines for sending samples for U-Th dating?

We have general sample size selection guidelines available here.

2. What kind of sample would be considered an open system?

An open system is one in which the sample is freely exchanging uranium with the environment around it, thus, leading to potentially aberrant results. Common examples of open system materials are: Forams, bones, teeth, shells, and bulk sediment. If you have further questions on whether a specific sample is suitable for this analysis, please contact us for further advice. 

3. What is the age range for U-Th dating?

The method we utilize works best with samples between 500 to 450,000 years old.

4. Can gypsum be submitted for U-Th dating?

Generally, gypsum can be considered an open system material, and would not be recommended for this analysis. However, we are planning to offer services for analyzing gypsum in the future.

5. Which analysis is better for my project, radiocarbon dating, or U-Th dating?

The answer depends on the specific research being conducted. Both techniques have very different applications, and unique limitations. We put together a detailed comparison here.