|Title:||Quaternary Geochronology by SIMS|
|Publication:||Mineralogical Association of Canada Short Course Series, v. 41, p. 109‐131.|
The timing of geologic events throughout the Quaternary period covering the past 2.6 Ma is of utmost importance for assessing the current state of the Earth, and to predict future changes. Quaternary geochronology represents a cornerstone in studying the geologic records of climate and landscape changes, biota evolution, and human origins. Quaternary geochronology covers an extremely wide range with regard to scope and methods (e.g., Noller et al. 2000) which even warranted the recent inauguration of a dedicated journal by the same name (Gruen 2006). Secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS) has only recently become a player in this field, and earlier reviews of methods in Quaternary geochronology omitted SIMS (e.g., Noller et al. 2000). The high sensitivity and micrometre‐scale spatial resolution of SIMS, however, is in the course of enhancing conventional uranium decay series (U‐series) Quaternary geochronology in much the same way as it revolutionized U–Pb and 232Th–208Pb geochronology (e.g., Ireland & Williams 2003).