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About this site

Initially the main purpose of this blog is to house responses to (mostly highly technical) questions about cosmogenic-nuclide geochemistry sent in by users of the online exposure age calculators formerly known as the CRONUS-Earth online exposure age calculators. Previously these answers were simply sent back to the questioner, which, of course, is not the best approach to widely spreading knowledge. Now they live here for posterity.

Subsequently it has turned into more of a place to house commentary or technical information about the field of cosmogenic-nuclide geochemistry that I think more than one other person might want to read. It’s a good place to put things that aren’t big enough or interesting enough to write an actual paper about.

If you already know a lot about cosmogenic-nuclide geochemistry, you will probably find some of these posts useful. If you don’t, they probably won’t be very interesting.

A few other obvious questions about this blog answered:

Why is this separate from the calculators web site on  Mainly, of course, ease of maintenance. But also, at the time there seemed to be a bit of a risk that answers to questions — and other commentary that winds up here — might include opinions that might not be approved by all members of the public-minded and responsible, but deeply conservative, CRONUS-Earth steering committee.  Thus, running this service on a separate website maintains editorial distance and ensures that you, the reader, continue to enjoy the  remote possibility that this blog will someday feature hard-hitting and disruptive investigative journalism that threatens established interests in cosmogenic-nuclide geochemistry. In any case, nothing that appears here is or ever was the official statement or policy of the CRONUS-Earth organization.

Is this, or was this ever, the official CRONUS-Earth blog? No.

Who or what is CRONUS-Earth? Cronus was a member of the Greek and Roman pantheon who briefly wielded authority in the universe before he was deposed by the more familiar set of gods led by Zeus. His key accomplishments were to castrate his father and eat (but not successfully digest) his children. CRONUS-Earth, on the other hand, was a 5-year-long research project funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation to investigate and improve geochronological methods based on the measurement of rare nuclides produced by cosmic ray bombardment of surface rocks. The project is now over. There might be more information about it here. There was also a related European project, CRONUS-EU.

What are the online exposure age and erosion rate calculators? These are online systems that ingest information about cosmogenic-nuclide concentrations in rock samples and use them to calculate geological ages. The point of these calculators is to bury the relatively complex calculations required to do this behind a user-friendly front. The initially developed ones are located here, and there are some others described here.

Who is responsible for this blog? Greg Balco.

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