2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 23-10
Presentation Time: 10:40 AM


GRANGER, Darryl E., Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, 550 Stadium Mall Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907, CAFFEE, Marc W., Department of Physics and Astronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, ZHAO, Zhijun, College of Geographical Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, 210023, China and ODOM III, William E., Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, 550 Stadium Mall Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907, dgranger@purdue.edu

Cosmogenic 26Al and 10Be in quartz can be used to date sediment burial over timescales ranging up to ~5-6 My based on their relative decay. However, burial dating has traditionally required deep burial in caves or beneath tens of meters of sediment, and the method has suffered from large uncertainties due to the difficulty in measuring 26Al by accelerator mass spectrometry. This has now fundamentally changed due to the recent implementation of a gas-filled-magnet (GFM) at PRIME Lab. By suppressing the isobar 26Mg, the GFM allows 26Al to be injected into the accelerator as the molecular ion AlO-, at more than an order of magnitude higher beam current. Precision of 26Al measurements is now equal to that of 10Be, a few percent or better. We will present new data comparing burial dates to 40Ar/39Ar dates of overlying volcanic deposits at the 0.77 My Bishop Tuff, California, and at the Pulu site in the Tarim Basin of northern China where the uppermost Xiyu conglomerate is sandwiched by basalt flows that bracket its age to 1.2-1.4 My. In both cases the burial ages match the 40Ar/39Ar ages with precision of ~5%. Isochron burial dating has tremendous potential in archaeology and Quaternary geology, including for dating sites buried by only a few meters of sediment.