#365papers for May 17, 2017
An, Kuang, Liu, Peng, Xu, Xu, Zhang, Wang, Chen, and Zhang, 2016, Detrital zircon dating and tracing the provenance of dinosaur bone beds from the Late Cretaceous Wangshi Group in Zhucheng, Shandong, East China: Journal of Palaeogeography, v. 5, 72-99.
What’s it about?
Geochemical and sedimentological methods are used to determine the age and provenance (i.e. where did the sediments come from) of dinosaur-bearing rocks. The bones themselves could not be directly dated, but cannot be younger than the rocks they’re found in.
Why does it matter?
If we can assign ages to the rocks and fossils and also determine the direction from which the original sediments came, we can 1) understand the evolution and relationships of the dinosaurs better, and 2) understand better what the geography (mountains, rivers, etc.) was like when the dinosaurs were alive.
Why did I read this?
Seemed like a good idea. The use of detrital zircons for assigning age is a very powerful tool.