Boulder dating website
In fact, in cosmogenic nuclide dating, the greatest uncertainties come from geological problems that result in inaccurate ages.
This usually results in ‘geological scatter’, where boulders on one landform give a range of exposure ages.
It is therefore very important to sample landforms where partial bleaching is likely to be minimal. Measurements on ages are often reported very precisely, and ever-improving laboratory techniques mean that uncertainties are always decreasing.
But it is important not to take these ages at face value, and to think critically about whether or not they may be accurate.
Scientists want measurements that are both accurate and precise…
If your sample becomes contaminated with younger, modern material during the sampling process, then it will be invalid. If you sample sediments from the bottom of a lake that has a lot of incoming waters that have ancient radiocarbon in then, then you will derive an anomalously old age.
Around Antarctica, the ocean water has a radiocarbon age of around 1300 years, though this varies spatially and may have varied in time as well.