Skip to Main Content

Fission-track dating of Quaternary events

Charles W. Naeser and Nancy D. Naeser
Fission-track dating of Quaternary events (in Dating Quaternary sediments, Don J. Easterbrook (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (1988) 227: 1-11


Fission tracks are zones of intense damage that result when fission fragments pass through a solid. (super 238) U is the only naturally occurring isotope whose decay rate results in a significant number of tracks over geologic time. Spontaneous fission of (super 238) U occurs at a known rate, and by determining the number of fission tracks and the amount of uranium present in a mineral or glass, its age may be determined. Many geologic materials contain trace amounts of uranium, but because of such factors as uranium abundance and track retention, zircon and glass are the only materials routinely dated in Quaternary samples. Applications of fission-track dating to Quaternary studies include the dating of volcanic ash and archaeological material. The method has also been used to determine the rate of landform development in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming through the dating of clinker formed by the natural burning of coal beds. In the Himalayas of northern Pakistan, fission-track dating of zircon and apatite has shown that uplift rates during the Quaternary were as high as 1 cm/yr, which accounts for the incredible mountainous relief.

ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 227
Title: Fission-track dating of Quaternary events
Title: Dating Quaternary sediments
Author(s): Naeser, Charles W.Naeser, Nancy D.
Author(s): Easterbrook, Don J.editor
Affiliation: U. S. Geol. Surv., Denver, CO, United States
Affiliation: West. Wash. Univ., Dep. Geol., Bellingham, WA, United States
Pages: 1-11
Published: 1988
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
ISBN: 0-8137-2227-6
References: 65
Accession Number: 1989-027321
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 3 tables, sketch map
N43°28'60" - N45°00'00", W106°00'00" - W105°05'60"
N27°00'00" - N37°00'00", E72°00'00" - E97°00'00"
N23°34'60" - N37°30'00", E60°15'00" - E75°15'00"
N43°00'00" - N45°19'60", W107°15'00" - W105°00'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 1989
Program Name: USGSOPNon-USGS publications with USGS authors
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal