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Be, the only stable isotope of beryllium, occurs naturally on earth.
However, for a light isotope the abundance of beryllium in the solar system is anomalously low.
Cosmogenic production in the upper atmosphere Be (half-life of 53 days) are continuously produced in the atmosphere by the high-energy proton component in cosmic radiation, causing spallation of atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen atoms.
Different isotopes are used for different lengths of times.
This long period of applicability is an added advantage of cosmogenic nuclide dating.
By sampling the rocks and separating certain minerals (such as quartz or pyroxene) and calculating the amount of these minerals (as a ratio to other, stable, minerals), we can work out how long the rock has been exposed on the earth’s surface.
Cosmogenic nuclides are rare nuclides that form in surface rocks because of bombardment by high-energy cosmic rays.
These differences can be translated into a measure of time since the rocks were either first exposed to sunlight, or covered over and isolated from the cosmic ray flux.
These reactions are more frequent at high altitudes, where surface cosmic ray fluxes are higher.
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.
Beryllium is rapidly washed from the atmosphere by precipitation, and is subsequently incorporated in continental and marine sediments.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating