In all but the top few cm of most sediment cores the sediment is old enough to ensure that the concentration of Pb-210 will be equivalent to that of the shorter-lived daughter isotopes.
Applications are in the areas of Late Quaternary geochronology, sedimentology and biochronology.
About 5 g of dried sample, from various depths of the sediment core, is required.
The samples are processed to prepare Pb activities.
Sediment accumulation is the stage pertaining to a decidedly longer period: it is the result of particle deposition and removal, leading to the preservation of the strata.
Particle removal may be due to several mechanisms, e.g.
The system consists of a surface barrier detector, preamplifier, amplifier, mixer router, analog to digital converter, multi-channel analyzer, and appropriate computer software.