Marine Sediments: Dating by the Racemization of Amino Acids

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Science  13 Nov 1970:
Vol. 170, Issue 3959, pp. 730-732
DOI: 10.1126/science.170.3959.730


Isoleucine has been found to undergo a slow racemization reaction in a 5-meter sediment core taken from the Atlantis fracture zone (water depth, 4014 meters; actual location, 30°15.7'N, 43°18.9'W). The amount of racemization increases with increasing depth below the sediment-seawater interface. This isoleucine racemization reaction was used to calculate an age of 1.23 million years for the bottom of the core.

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