, Volume 143, Issue 1, pp 21-27

210 Pb dating by low background gamma counting

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Lead-210 and radium-226 measurements by direct gamma assay can now provide a record of changing concentrations in lake sediments sufficiently reliable and precise to form a suitable basis for age/depth and dry-sedimentation-rate calculations. There are additional benefits in terms of non destructive sample preparation and simultaneous assay for other environmentally significant gamma-emitting radioisotopes (e.g. 137Cs and 241Am). Results from L. Fleet, S. W. Scotland illustrate the value of this approach especially in lakes with disturbed catchments where variable input of supported 210Pb has occurred.