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Establishing chronologies for events recorded in sedimentary deposits or hard rocks is of critical importance to our understanding of the history of our culture, our species, our biosphere and our planet. This is especially true of the last 2.6 million years (the Quaternary) – the period of most relevance to our present climate and to the evolution of our species.

Two of the most important dating methods for interpreting the Quaternary sedimentary record, cosmogenic dating and luminescence dating, are represented in Department of Geoscience:

  • The Cosmogenic Dating Laboratory is a collaborative facility with the Department of Physics and Astronomy. This laboratory is very well equipped and the staff has significant previous experience.
  • The Nordic Laboratory for Luminescence Dating is a well-established world leader in the area. It has unrivalled analytical facilities and is largely responsible for the three major technique developments of the last 15 years.