Notes on the Fauna of the Chipola Formation- XI Helium-Uranium Dating Studies of Corals

Michael L. Bender


Fanale and Schaeffer (1965) first recognized that the helium-uranium method might be a way to reliably date fossil corals. The method is based on the fact that when uranium and its radioactive daughters decay, they produce helium atoms at a known rate. From measured helium and uranium concentrations one can calculate an "age." This "age" will be reliable provided that diagenetic processes have not leached or contaminated the fossil and that the gaseous helium has not leaked out.

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