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Geochronology
Geochronology
Geochronology
is the science of determining the age of rocks, fossils, and sediments using signatures inherent in the rocks themselves. Absolute geochronology can be accomplished through radioactive isotopes, whereas relative geochronology is provided by tools such as palaeomagnetism and stable isotope ratios. By combining multiple geochronological (and biostratigraphic) indicators the precision of the recovered age can be improved. Geochronology
Geochronology
is different in application from biostratigraphy, which is the science of assigning sedimentary rocks to a known geological period via describing, cataloguing and comparing fossil floral and faunal assemblages. Biostratigraphy
Biostratigraphy
does not directly provide an absolute age determination of a rock, but merely places it within an interval of time at which that fossil assemblage is known to have coexisted
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Science
Science
Science
(from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge")[2][3]:58 is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.[a] Contemporary science is typically subdivided into the natural sciences which study the material world, the social sciences which study people and societies, and the formal sciences like mathematics
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Carbonate
In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt of carbonic acid (H2CO3),[2] characterized by the presence of the carbonate ion, a polyatomic ion with the formula of CO2− 3. The name may also mean an ester of carbonic acid,[2] an organic compound containing the carbonate group C(=O)(O–)2. The term is also used as a verb, to describe carbonation: the process of raising the concentrations of carbonate and bicarbonate ions in water to produce carbonated water and other carbonated beverages – either by the addition of carbon dioxide gas under pressure, or by dissolving carbonate or bicarbonate salts into the water. In geology and mineralogy, the term "carbonate" can refer both to carbonate minerals and carbonate rock (which is made of chiefly carbonate minerals), and both are dominated by the carbonate ion, CO2− 3. Carbonate minerals
Carbonate minerals
are extremely varied and ubiquitous in chemically precipitated sedimentary rock
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Radiogenic
A radiogenic nuclide is a nuclide that is produced by a process of radioactive decay. It may itself be radioactive (a radionuclide) or stable (a stable nuclide). Radiogenic nuclides (more commonly referred to as radiogenic isotopes) form some of the most important tools in geology. They are used in two principal ways:In comparison with the quantity of the radioactive 'parent isotope' in a system, the quantity of the radiogenic 'daughter product' is used as a radiometric dating tool (e.g. uranium–lead geochronology). In comparison with the quantity of a non-radiogenic isotope of the same element, the quantity of the radiogenic isotope is used to define its isotopic signature (e.g. 206Pb/204Pb)
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Carbon-14
Carbon-14, 14C, or radiocarbon, is a radioactive isotope of carbon with an atomic nucleus containing 6 protons and 8 neutrons. Its presence in organic materials is the basis of the radiocarbon dating method pioneered by Willard Libby
Willard Libby
and colleagues (1949) to date archaeological, geological and hydrogeological samples. Carbon-14
Carbon-14
was discovered on February 27, 1940, by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben at the University of California Radiation Laboratory
University of California Radiation Laboratory
in Berkeley, California. Its existence had been suggested by Franz Kurie in 1934.[2] There are three naturally occurring isotopes of carbon on Earth: 99% of the carbon is carbon-12, 1% is carbon-13, and carbon-14 occurs in trace amounts, i.e., making up about 1 or 1.5 atoms per 1012 atoms of the carbon in the atmosphere
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Isotope
Isotopes
Isotopes
are variants of a particular chemical element which differ in neutron number. All isotopes of a given element have the same number of protons in each atom. The term isotope is formed from the Greek roots isos (ἴσος "equal") and topos (τόπος "place"), meaning "the same place"; thus, the meaning behind the name is that different isotopes of a single element occupy the same position on the periodic table. The number of protons within the atom's nucleus is called atomic number and is equal to the number of electrons in the neutral (non-ionized) atom. Each atomic number identifies a specific element, but not the isotope; an atom of a given element may have a wide range in its number of neutrons
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Igneous Rock
Igneous rock
Igneous rock
(derived from the Latin
Latin
word ignis meaning fire), or magmatic rock, is one of the three main rock types, the others being sedimentary and metamorphic. Igneous rock
Igneous rock
is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. The magma can be derived from partial melts of existing rocks in either a planet's mantle or crust. Typically, the melting is caused by one or more of three processes: an increase in temperature, a decrease in pressure, or a change in composition
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Uranium–thorium Dating
Uranium–thorium dating, also called thorium-230 dating, uranium-series disequilibrium dating or uranium-series dating, is a radiometric dating technique established in the 1960s which has been used since the 1970s to determine the age of calcium carbonate materials such as speleothem or coral.[1][better source needed] Unlike other commonly used radiometric dating techniques such as rubidium–strontium or uranium–lead dating, the uranium-thorium technique does not measure accumulation of a stable end-member decay product. Instead, it calculates an age from the degree to which secular equilibrium has been restored between the radioactive isotope thorium-230 and its radioactive parent uranium-234 within a sample.[citation needed]Contents1 Background 2 History 3 Methods 4 Dating limits 5 Precision 6 See also 7 References 8 External linksBackground[edit]Uranium and Thorium activity ratios vs time
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Speleothem
Speleothems ( /ˈspiːliːəθɛm/; Ancient Greek: "cave deposit"), commonly known as cave formations , are secondary mineral deposits formed in a cave. Speleothems typically form in limestone or dolostone solutional caves. The term "speleothem" as first introduced by Moore (1952),[1] is derived from the Greek words spēlaion "cave" + théma "deposit". The definition of "speleothem" in most publications, specifically excludes secondary mineral deposits in mines, tunnels and on man-made structures.[2] Hill and Forti more concisely defined "secondary minerals" which create speleothems in caves as;A "secondary" mineral is one which is derived by a physicochemical reaction from a primary mineral in bedrock or detritus, and/or deposited because of a unique set of conditions in a cave; i.e., the cave environment has influenced the mineral's deposition
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Bone
A bone is a rigid organ that constitutes part of the vertebrate skeleton. Bones support and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells, store minerals, provide structure and support for the body, and enable mobility. Bones come in a variety of shapes and sizes and have a complex internal and external structure. They are lightweight yet strong and hard, and serve multiple functions. Bone
Bone
tissue (osseous tissue) is a hard tissue, a type of dense connective tissue. It has a honeycomb-like matrix internally, which helps to give the bone rigidity. Bone
Bone
tissue is made up of different types of bone cells. Osteoblasts and osteocytes are involved in the formation and mineralization of bone; osteoclasts are involved in the resorption of bone tissue. Modified (flattened) osteoblasts become the lining cells that form a protective layer on the bone surface
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Radioactive Decay
Radioactive
Radioactive
decay (also known as nuclear decay or radioactivity) is the process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy (in terms of mass in its rest frame) by emitting radiation, such as an alpha particle, beta particle with neutrino or only a neutrino in the case of electron capture, gamma ray, or electron in the case of internal conversion. A material containing such unstable nuclei is considered radioactive. Certain highly excited short-lived nuclear states can decay through neutron emission, or more rarely, proton emission. Radioactive
Radioactive
decay is a stochastic (i.e. random) process at the level of single atoms, in that, according to quantum theory, it is impossible to predict when a particular atom will decay,[1][2][3] regardless of how long the atom has existed
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Metamorphic Rock
Metamorphic
Metamorphic
rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock types, in a process called metamorphism, which means "change in form".[1] The original rock (protolith) is subjected to heat (temperatures greater than 150 to 200 °C) and pressure (150 megapascals (1,500 bar))[clarify],[2] causing profound physical or chemical change. The protolith may be a sedimentary, igneous, or existing metamorphic rock. Metamorphic
Metamorphic
rocks make up a large part of the Earth's crust and form 12% of the Earth's land surface.[3] They are classified by texture and by chemical and mineral assemblage (metamorphic facies). They may be formed simply by being deep beneath the Earth's surface, subjected to high temperatures and the great pressure of the rock layers above it. They can form from tectonic processes such as continental collisions, which cause horizontal pressure, friction and distortion
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Volcanic Rock
Volcanic
Volcanic
rock (often shortened to volcanics in scientific contexts) is a rock formed from magma erupted from a volcano. In other words, it differs from other igneous rock by being of volcanic origin. Like all rock types, the concept of volcanic rock is artificial, and in nature volcanic rocks grade into hypabyssal and metamorphic rocks and constitute an important element of some sediments and sedimentary rocks. For these reasons, in geology, volcanics and shallow hypabyssal rocks are not always treated as distinct. In the context of Precambrian
Precambrian
shield geology, the term "volcanic" is often applied to what are strictly metavolcanic rocks. Volcanic
Volcanic
rocks are among the most common rock types on Earth's surface, particularly in the oceans. On land, they are very common at plate boundaries and in flood basalt provinces
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Volcanic Ash
Volcanic ash
Volcanic ash
consists of fragments of pulverized rock, minerals and volcanic glass, created during volcanic eruptions and measuring less than 2 mm (0.079 inches) in diameter.[1] The term volcanic ash is also often loosely used to refer to all explosive eruption products (correctly referred to as tephra), including particles larger than 2mm. Volcanic ash
Volcanic ash
is formed during explosive volcanic eruptions when dissolved gases in magma expand and escape violently into the atmosphere. The force of the escaping gas shatters the magma and propels it into the atmosphere where it solidifies into fragments of volcanic rock and glass. Ash
Ash
is also produced when magma comes into contact with water during phreatomagmatic eruptions, causing the water to explosively flash to steam leading to shattering of magma
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Paleoanthropology
Paleoanthropology
Paleoanthropology
or paleo-anthropology is a branch of archaeology with a human focus, which seeks to understand the early development of anatomically modern humans, a process known as hominization, through the reconstruction of evolutionary kinship lines within the family Hominidae, working from biological evidence (such as petrified skeletal remains, bone fragments, footprints) and cultural evidence (such as stone tools, artifacts, and settlement localities).[1][2] The field draws from and combines paleontology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology
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Electron Spin Resonance
Electron paramagnetic resonance
Electron paramagnetic resonance
(EPR) or electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy is a method for studying materials with unpaired electrons. The basic concepts of EPR are analogous to those of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), but it is electron spins that are excited instead of the spins of atomic nuclei
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