Modelling cosmogenic nuclide inventories for rock avalanches
Surface exposure dating by using cosmogenic nuclides allows calculating the numeric apparent exposure age of, for example, old rock avalanches and large rock-slope failures.
The aim of the thesis is to produce a tool for a spectrum of researchers working with cosmogenic nuclide dating in the field of landslide geology. The thesis is mainly supervised by the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Sogndal.
Surface-exposure dating by using cosmogenic nuclides allows calculating the numeric apparent exposure age of sediment deposits and rock surfaces. It is a popular tool to reconstruct past ice-extent and to date the deglaciation of the last glaciation.
In recent years cosmogenic nuclides are increasingly used to estimate the timing of rock avalanches and large rock-slope failures by dating large boulders of the deposits. While this usually works well for relatively old failure events in recently glaciated areas, it can be associated with large and unknown uncertainties in non-glacial environments and for relatively young failure events. This is due to the pre-failure concentration of cosmogenic nuclides, called inheritance.
Because it is near to impossible to estimate, inheritance is usually only mentioned or discussed, often neglected, and attempts to quantify potential inherited cosmogenic nuclide concentrations are rarely done.
Landslide geologists using this dating method are often not experts in cosmogenic nuclides and their production in rock surfaces. It would therefore be beneficial for many researchers internationally to have tools to help to assess and quantifying different sources of uncertainties.
The aim of this thesis is to produce such a tool that can be made available to a spectrum of researchers working with cosmogenic nuclide dating in the field of landslide geology.
The thesis will consist of the following steps:
- Studying literature about cosmogenic nuclide dating and the theory behind it
- Learning how production rates and apparent exposure ages are calculated by studying literature and existing MATLAB codes
- Starting to write your own code
For the following steps and more information please take contact one of the supervisors.