Not the date of rock formation, but dating how long a rock has sat at the Earth's surface and been exposed to cosmogenic radiation.
The bombardment of the earth by particles causes spallation within the atmosphere, and within the upper centimeters of terrestrial surfaces.
For these reasons the methods employed at a radiocarbon lab must be rigorous, well tested and reproducible.
All of these processes are carefully controlled at ORAU through our quality management system.
Two Europa Scientific instruments are used in conjunction with automated gas collection systems for radiocarbon samples.
With precise measurement, the parent and daughter isotopes can be quantified, providing a means to accurately date when water was recharged.They cover most of the materials suitable for radiocarbon measurement.The methods range from simple acid/base/acid treatments to separation of amino acids from proteins using HPLC.This use has resulted in large atmospheric releases of CFC gases over the last 50 years.Thanks to precise, global, atmospheric CFC measurements beginning in 1978 as a part of the Atmospheric Lifetime Experiment, there is an excellent recorded record of global CFC concentrations.The unit uses some thirty different pre-treatment methods for samples of different kinds and in different states of preservation.