PerspectiveGeology

Sediments Reveal Their Age

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Science  02 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5424, pp. 58-59
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5424.58

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Summary

Sandstone sediments are an important part of the geological record, but determining the time of their deposition can be extremely difficult, especially for Precambrian sandstones (older than about 540 million years ago). Whitehouse (page 58) explains why McNaughton et al.'s new dating method (page 78), which uses the lead isotopes in a mineral called xenotime for dating, may provide a versatile tool for dating such sandstone sediments.