Encyclopedia of Geoarchaeology

2017 Edition
| Editors: Allan S. Gilbert

U-Series Dating

  • Robyn PickeringEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4409-0_50


Thorium-230 (230Th) dating; Uranium disequilibrium (234U/238U) dating; Uranium-lead (U-Pb) dating; Uranium-series disequilibrium dating; Uranium-thorium (U-Th) dating


Uranium-series dating is a broad term covering a number of geological dating schemes based on the measurement of the natural radioactivity of uranium isotopes U-238 (238U) and U-235 (235U), as well as their daughter isotopes in material which initially contained only the parent uranium.

Uranium-lead (U-Pb) dating uses the amount of stable 206Pb, the end product of the 238U decay chain, relative to the amount of initial 238U to calculate the time of formation (and thus age) of a sample.

Uranium-thorium (U-Th) dating is a specific method that uses only a section of the 238U decay chain to calculate the time of formation (and thus age) based on the degree to which equilibrium has been restored between the radioactive daughter isotope thorium-230 (230Th) and its radioactive parent, 238U.



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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth SciencesUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia