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Contenuto archiviato il 2024-05-29

Cosmic ray produced nuclide systematics on earth - the European contribution


The development of in situ cosmogenic nuclides as a tool for quantifying rates and timing of Earth surface processes has revolutionised many branches of the Earth and environmental sciences. The principal aim of CRONUS-EU is to establish a nucleus of cosmo genic nuclide-literate young research scientists capable of providing the wider European science community the tools to remain at the forefront of their fields. Since its conception in the mid-1980¿s there has been an explosion in the use in situ cosmogeni c nuclides such that it has become the principal quantitative chronological technique for Earth surface process studies, and has provided invaluable chronological constraints on the timing and rates of environmental change (e.g glacial histories, erosion) and hazard recurrence frequency (e.g. landslides, volcanic and seismic activity). However, while the costly, but necessary, research infrastructure is now in place in Europe, the widespread application of the technique has been severely restricted by two p rincipal limitations; (i) the absence of scientists in Europe with the necessary skills to identify, prepare and analyse appropriate material, and (ii) the yet outstanding full calibration of the intrinsic physical laws, such as cosmic ray attenuation and nuclide production at Earth's surface. CRONUS-EU will use a series of rigorous multi-disciplinary studies aimed at improving the accuracy of ages obtained from cosmogenic isotopes, a prerequisite for future development. By doing so, the necessary skills wi ll be transferred from this small group of experts to the young researchers involved. Training will be facilitated principally through laboratory secondments and specific training courses, and will deliver a critical mass of research scientists equipped wi th the skills necessary for leading the future expansion in the use of the technique.

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