Rock varnish dating

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Dark surficial coatings on rocks in diverse environments have been an object of scientific curiosity since their first description by Alexander von Humboldt (1819).

These surface films are most conspicuous in arid regions (e.g.

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C dating of rock varnish provides minimum-limiting ages for landforms and archaeological artifacts in arid and semiarid lands that are undatable by conventional radiocarbon methods.

Rock varnish coats many surfaces of geomorphic and archaeologic interest in arid lands.

-from Authors TY - JOURT1 - Accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating of rock varnish AU - Dorn, R.

Experiments on sample collection, the effect of different individuals preparing samples, the influence of different chemical-extraction procedures, the incorporation of carbonate detritus, possible contamination from rock underlying varnish, the role of bio-geochemical erosion of varnish, and other influences reveal procedures that yield reproducible results.

In seasonally flooded tropical riverine environments, vitreous silica-rich films of brown to purple-black colour are sometimes present on exposed bedrock potholes (Tricart 1972) and point bar cobbles, which may be cemented together to form a resistant carapace.

Matthews, J 2014, 'Rock-varnish microlamination (vml) dating', in Matthews, J (ed.), , edited by John A.

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