Encyclopedia of Scientific Dating Methods

2015 Edition
| Editors: W. Jack Rink, Jeroen W. Thompson

Amino Acid Racemization, Fluvial and Lacustrine Sediments (AAR)

  • John F. WehmillerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6304-3_114


Climate history; Fossils; Geochronology; Lakes; Rivers


Amino acid racemization. The phenomenon of conversion of “left-handed” (L or “levo”) amino acids to their “right-handed” (D or “dextro”) form. In most living systems, 100 % of the amino acids are of the L form, and the conversion results in an equal mixture of D and L when the racemization reaction is complete.

Fluvial sediments, lacustrine sediments. Sedimentary material that accumulates and is preserved in river, stream, or lake environments. These can include sediments dominated by biological material (shells) and those dominated by inorganic material that may form by cementation or evaporation, such as carbonates or evaporates and mud or clay. Sediments range in age (time since deposition) from days to millions of years and are found in a variety of terrestrial sedimentary environments.


Amino acid racemization (AAR) studies of fluvial and lacustrine deposits usually require the analysis of a...

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA