- Fluorine absorption dating
Fluorine absorption dating is the use of
fluorineto determine the duration of time an object found in the soilhas been there. It is a relative datingtechnique, in comparison to absolute datingtechniques like radiocarbon dating.
Fluorine absorption dating can be carried out based on the fact that
groundwatercontains fluorine ions. Items, such as bonefragments that are in the soil will absorb fluoride from the groundwater over time. From the amount of absorbed fluoride in the item, the time that the item has been in the soil can be estimated. The dating method is a relative one because one needs another item found in the same area of which the age is known to state anything about a true age. If no real age is known, ages can only be expressed in "older than" or "younger than" between the two objects. The fluctuating amount of fluoride found in groundwater means the objects in comparison must be in the same local area in order for the comparisons to be accurate.
As not all objects absorb fluorine at the same rate, this also undermines the accuracy of such a dating technique. Although this can be compensated for by accommodating for the rate of absorption in calculations, such an accommodation tends to have a rather large
margin of error.
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