Assuming that the boulder remains in a stable position, and does not roll or move after deposition, this boulder will give an excellent As well as using cosmogenic nuclide dating to work out the past extent of ice sheets and the rate at which they shrank back, we can use it to work out ice-sheet thicknesses and rates of thinning[5, 6].
Sampling and dating boulders in a transect down a mountain will rapidly establish how thick your ice sheet was and how quickly it thinned during deglaciation.
Beryllium-10 (Be) does not occur naturally in quartz, and once it forms following spallation it becomes trapped by quartz’s regular crystal lattice.
For a rock to be suitable for cosmogenic nuclide dating, quartz must occur in the rock in sufficient quantities and in the sufficient size fraction.
When particular isotopes in rock crystals are bombarded by these energetic cosmic rays neutrons, a reaction results.
It is particularly useful in Antarctica, because of a number of factors: Cosmogenic nuclide dating is effective over short to long timescales (1,000-10,000,000 years), depending on which isotope you are dating.Glacial geologists use this phenomenon to date glacial landforms, such as erratics or glacially transported boulders on moraines or glacially eroded bedrock.Dating glacial landforms helps scientists understand past ice-sheet extent and rates of ice-sheet recession.Cartoon illustrating cosmogenic nuclide exposure ages. A glacier transports an erratic boulder, and then recedes, exposing it to cosmic rays.Spallation reactions occur in minerals in the rocks upon bombardment by cosmic rays.