Radiometric dating geochronology
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A number of radioactive isotopes are used for this purpose, and depending on the rate of decay, are used for dating different geological periods.
It is, however, important not to confuse geochronologic and chronostratigraphic units.
In the same way, it is entirely possible to visit an Upper Cretaceous Series deposit—such as the Egyptian mangrove deposit where the Tyrannosaurus fossils were found—but it is naturally impossible to visit the Late Cretaceous Epoch, as that is a period of time.
Here, we employ the Re–Os geochronometer, along with total organic carbon (TOC) and Rock–Eval data, to determine the timing and conditions of a marine incursion at the top of the Matewan coal bed, Kanawha Formation, Pottsville Group, West Virginia, USA.
The observed range for hydrogen index (HI: 267–290 mg hydrocarbon/gram total organic carbon) for these coal samples suggests dominance of aliphatic hydrocarbons with low carbon ( for the immediately overlying Betsie Shale Member.