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Cosmogenic isotope burial dating of fluvial sediments from the Lower Rhine Embayment, Germany


Dehnert, A; Kracht, O; Preusser, F; Akçar, N; Kemna, H A; Kubik, P W; Schlüchter, C (2011). Cosmogenic isotope burial dating of fluvial sediments from the Lower Rhine Embayment, Germany. Quaternary geochronology, 6:313-325.

Abstract

Cosmogenic isotope burial dating, using 10Be and 26Al, was applied to Plio–Pleistocene fluvial successions from the Lower Rhine Embayment, Germany. The approach consists of three principal steps: (1) measurement of cosmogenic nuclides in depth profiles, (2) modelling of hypothetical nuclide concentrations based on a first-order conceptualisation of the geological context and the principal succession of depositions and subsequent erosional and burial phases, and (3) using parameter estimation to identify values for the a priori unknown model parameters (burial age, initial nuclide concentrations, terrace erosion rates) that result in minimal disagreement between hypothetical and measured nuclide concentrations.

The Late Pliocene Kieseloolite Formation was dated to 3650 ± 1490 ka and the Early Pleistocene Waalre Formation to 900 ± 280 ka. The unconformably overlying Upper Terrace Formation revealed ages of 740 ± 210 ka and 750 ± 250 ka for the two different sites. These findings are in good agreement with independent age control derived by bio-, magneto-, and litho-stratigraphy. Furthermore, identifiability and uncertainty analysis reveal a relationship between burial depth and sensitivity of isotope concentrations to burial age and erosion rate. Our results indicate that using shallower buried samples would enable a considerably more robust estimation of the burial age and the terrace erosion rate. Uncertainties arose mainly from nuclide measurements, and not from the uncertainties derived from modelling or insufficient knowledge of nuclide production and decay properties.

Abstract

Cosmogenic isotope burial dating, using 10Be and 26Al, was applied to Plio–Pleistocene fluvial successions from the Lower Rhine Embayment, Germany. The approach consists of three principal steps: (1) measurement of cosmogenic nuclides in depth profiles, (2) modelling of hypothetical nuclide concentrations based on a first-order conceptualisation of the geological context and the principal succession of depositions and subsequent erosional and burial phases, and (3) using parameter estimation to identify values for the a priori unknown model parameters (burial age, initial nuclide concentrations, terrace erosion rates) that result in minimal disagreement between hypothetical and measured nuclide concentrations.

The Late Pliocene Kieseloolite Formation was dated to 3650 ± 1490 ka and the Early Pleistocene Waalre Formation to 900 ± 280 ka. The unconformably overlying Upper Terrace Formation revealed ages of 740 ± 210 ka and 750 ± 250 ka for the two different sites. These findings are in good agreement with independent age control derived by bio-, magneto-, and litho-stratigraphy. Furthermore, identifiability and uncertainty analysis reveal a relationship between burial depth and sensitivity of isotope concentrations to burial age and erosion rate. Our results indicate that using shallower buried samples would enable a considerably more robust estimation of the burial age and the terrace erosion rate. Uncertainties arose mainly from nuclide measurements, and not from the uncertainties derived from modelling or insufficient knowledge of nuclide production and decay properties.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cosmogenic nuclides; 10Be; 26Al; Geochronology; Parameter estimation
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:09 Jun 2011 12:13
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 08:27
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1871-1014
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quageo.2011.03.005

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