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06-Mar-2020 06:21

Thermoluminescence: Silicate rocks, like quartz, are particularly good at trapping electrons.

Researchers who work with prehistoric tools made from flint — a hardened form of quartz — often use thermoluminescence (TL) to tell them not the age of the rock, but of the tool.

Afterward, the amount of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 in their remains decreases.Researchers can measure the amount of these trapped electrons to establish an age.But to use any trapped charge method, experts first need to calculate the rate at which the electrons were trapped.Paleomagnetism is often used as a rough check of results from another dating method.

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Tephrochronology: Within hours or days of a volcanic eruption, tephra — fragments of rock and other material hurled into the atmosphere by the event — is deposited in a single layer with a unique geochemical fingerprint.

Paleontologists still commonly use biostratigraphy to date fossils, often in combination with paleomagnetism and tephrochronology.