Radioactive Geochronometry

A derivative of the Treatise on Geochemistry

Edited by

  • Heinrich D Holland, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Karl Turekian, Yale University, Connecticut, USA

The history of Earth in the Solar System has been unraveled using natural radioactivity. The sources of this radioactivity are the original creation of the elements and the subsequent bombardment of objects, including Earth, in the Solar System by cosmic rays. Both radioactive and radiogenic nuclides are harnessed to arrive at ages of various events and processes on Earth.

This collection of chapters from the Treatise on Geochemistry displays the range of radioactive geochronometric studies that have been addressed by researchers in various fields of Earth science. These range from the age of Earth and the Solar System to the dating of the history of Earth that assists us in defining the major events in Earth history. In addition, the use of radioactive geochronometry in describing rates of Earth surface processes, including the climate history recorded in ocean sediments and the patterns of circulation of the fluid Earth, has extended the range of utility of radioactive isotopes as chronometric and tracer tools.

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professionals, researchers, and upper level undergraduate and graduate geochemistry students


Book information

  • Published: September 2010
  • ISBN: 978-0-08-096708-0

Table of Contents

1. Cosmic-Ray Exposure Ages of Meteorites

2. Early Solar System Chronology

3. The Origin and Earliest History of the Earth

4. Long-Lived Chronometers

5. The Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry of Impacts

6. Geochronology and Thermochronology in Orogenic Systems

7. Ages and Growth of Continental Crust from Radiogenic Isotopes

8. Radiocarbon

9. Natural Radionuclides in the Atmosphere

10. Groundwater Dating and Residence-Time Measurements

11. Cosmogenic Nuclides in Weathering and Erosion

12. Geochronometry of Marine Deposits

13. Chronometry of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks

14. The Early History of Life

15. Heavy Metals in the Environment-Historical Trends

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4