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University of Nairobi Radiocarbon Dating Essay 1. Explain how radiocarbon dating would be used to determine the age of a piece of Pleistocene wood. In this description, include a discussion of the specific parent and daughter isotopes used to date wood, how those isotopes are generated in the upper atmosphere, and how do these isotopes get into living tissue of plants and animals. When does the radiometric clock start ticking? Explain how this is used to determine the age by describing the concept of a halflife. Use an example with a specific number of isotopes and elapsed halflives, such as if 1/8 (12.5%) of the parent isotope is left, and the halflife is 5,730 years, then how old is the wood? 2. Describe the third mass extinction (aka Permian Mass Extinction) and fifth mass extinction (aka KPg Extinction) and include the time frame in millions of years ago, the percentage of species extinct, and the type of species affected. In addition, for the fifth mass extinction, describe the cause of the KPg extinction event and two pieces of evidence (one paleontological and one chemical) that Dr. Alvarez used found for that cause. 3. For earthquakes, describe the earthquake and tsunami events associated with the Japanese 2011 earthquake including its tectonic setting, earthquake magnitude, and impact to society. Then compare this to the tectonic setting, potential earthquake magnitude, date of last great earthquake, recurrence interval, and tsunami hazard in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. You may consider reviewing these sources: 1. New Yorker article on Pacific Northwest earthquake and tsunami hazard – A pdf of this article is in the Canvas page in the Ch. 11 Module or follow this link: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/thereallybigone 2. A link to the IRIS video called “Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami Hazard – Ghost Forests” is also in the modules section – http://www.iris.edu/hq/programs/education_and_outreach/animati ons/22 4. Describe the types of seismic waves and include properties of each such as speed. How are seismic waves and seismographs used to locate earthquakes and determine the earthquake magnitude (the Richter scale measurement)? How might ground shaking change in loose (unconsolidated) saturated sediments, what is this process called and where is this hazard the greatest in Salt Lake Valley? 5. Describe the water cycle using the path of a raindrop that travels from the ocean to the air, land, and groundwater system. Make sure to include how the water gets into the atmosphere, how it returns to land, how it moves along the surface and gets into the groundwater system. Include a description of the main water sources that humans draw from and the main three ways that humans use water. 6. What is the difference between global climate change and the greenhouse effect? Describe the greenhouse effect. Make sure to explain in detail how the greenhouse effect works. Include longwave and shortwave radiation, a definition of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in general and a list of at least two examples of GHGs
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