Ages of Prehistoric Earthquakes Revealed by Cosmogenic Chlorine-36 in a Bedrock Fault Scarp at Hebgen Lake

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Science  06 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5391, pp. 1097-1099
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5391.1097

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Cosmogenic chlorine-36 reveals dates of the multiple prehistoric earthquakes that have produced a scarp on the Hebgen Lake fault. Apparent chlorine-36 ages are stratigraphically correct, follow a predicted theoretical pattern, and produce geologically reasonable model ages of 24, 20, 7.0, 2.6, 1.7, and 0.4 thousand years ago. This result demonstrates the feasibility of using cosmogenic chlorine-36 to extract paleoearthquake records from bedrock fault scarps.

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