This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  

Dating Techniques, Radiometric and Isotopic Dating

Dating techniques, radiometric and isotopic dating

A number of techniques have been used to date past events. Many of these use either radioactive or stable isotopes. But other approaches have also been used. Tree rings are an example of this.

Many elements have several stable and radioactive isotopes. These isotopes can be used to provide dates for a number of different processes from days to millions of years. Radioactive isotopes have been used to measure rates of sedimentation, water movement, and photosynthesis. Stable isotopes have been used to gain an understanding of climate change, food web dynamics, and the fate of terrestrial organic matter in the marine environment. Radioisotopes are atoms that spontaneously decay at a fixed rate; this is termed radioactive ...

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