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Dating methods applicable to the Quaternary

By
John N. Rosholt
John N. Rosholt
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 963, Box 25046, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225
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Steven M. Colman
Steven M. Colman
U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543
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Minze Stuiver
Minze Stuiver
Department of Geological Sciences and Quaternary Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195
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Paul E. Damon
Paul E. Damon
Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721
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Charles W. Naeser
Charles W. Naeser
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 424, Box 25046, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225
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Nancy D. Naeser
Nancy D. Naeser
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 424, Box 25046, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225
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Barney J. Szabo
Barney J. Szabo
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 424, Box 25046, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225
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Daniel R. Muhs
Daniel R. Muhs
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 424, Box 25046, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225
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Joseph C. Liddicoat
Joseph C. Liddicoat
University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064
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Steven L. Forman
Steven L. Forman
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309
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Michael N. Machette
Michael N. Machette
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 913, Box 25046, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225
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Kenneth L. Pierce
Kenneth L. Pierce
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 913, Box 25046, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225
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Published:
January 01, 1991

Abstract

A wide variety of dating methods are used in Quaternary research, and each method has many applications and limitations. Because of this variety, we cannot discuss the applications and limitations of all methods here. The more versatile and widely used methods, including 14C, K/Ar, fission-track, U-series, paleomagnetism, thermoluminescence, and amino acid dating are treated more comprehensively in this chapter than other methods that are shown on the summary chart. The summary chart is provided here to give an overview of dating work and research for the Quaternary.

This summary consists mainly of a table (Plate 2) that is modified and updated from Colman and Pierce (1977, Plate 1, ref. 66). The table is intended as an overview and concise guide to Quaternary dating methods. It contains many subjective judgments and should not be considered definitive; the entries for applicability, age range, and optimum resolution are particularly interpretive. Details concerning assumptions, analytical techniques, uncertainties, and interpretations should be obtained from specialized references using the key references in Plate 2 as a guide. The dating methods described range from well-known and established techniques to experimental procedures whose results are subject to considerable interpretation.

Key references included on Plate 2 are intended as an entry into the vast literature on dating methods; space prohibits a more complete listing. We have emphasized recent review papers and notable examples of applications as sources of additional references and information. Dating methods discussed in other sections of this chapter are indicated by asterisks in.

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Contents

DNAG, Geology of North America

Quaternary Nonglacial Geology

Roger B. Morrison
Roger B. Morrison
Morrison and Associates 13150 West Ninth Avenue Golden, Colorado 80401
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Geological Society of America
Volume
K-2
ISBN electronic:
9780813754611
Publication date:
January 01, 1991

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