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Journal Article

$^{40}$Ar/$^{39}$Ar Dating into the Historical Realm: Calibration Against Pliny the Younger

P. R. Renne, W. D. Sharp, A. L. Deino, G. Orsi and L. Civetta
New Series, Vol. 277, No. 5330 (Aug. 29, 1997), pp. 1279-1280
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Topics: Argon, Lasers, Pumice, Error rates, Geology, Volcanology, Atmospherics, Fluence, Calibration, Volcanoes
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Laser incremental heating of sanidine from the pumice deposited by the Plinian eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. yielded a $^{40}$Ar/$^{39}$Ar isochron age of 1925 ± 94 years ago. Close agreement with the Gregorian calendar-based age of 1918 years ago demonstrates that the $^{40}$Ar/$^{39}$Ar method can be reliably extended into the temporal range of recorded history. Excess $^{40}$Ar is present in the sanidine in concentrations that would cause significant errors if ignored in dating Holocene samples.

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