Earth is assaulted with high energy particles every day, (ex: protons and alpha particles). When the primary cosmic rays interact with atoms in gasses from the atmosphere, there are secondary particles that are produced and provide energy for many different reactions in the atmosphere.These rays reach the earth’s surface are mostly composed of neutrons When the particle rays strike an atom on the earth’s surface, they can dislodge protons from an atom or add/dislodge neutrons in a process called spallation.These nuclides are generally referred to as naturally occurring radioactivity and are derived from the radioactive decay of thorium and uranium.

Using this technique, scientists can find out information about geologic events such as how long a surface was exposed, how long a piece has been buried, even how quickly a certain area is eroding.

The Radionuclides are produced at a known rate and the decay rate is also known.

Surface exposure dating using terrestrial cosmogenic nuclides (TCN) is an established and reliable method to date landforms and has been applied for dating glacial advances and retreats, erosion history, lava flows, meteorite impacts, fault scarps, and other geological events.

Within landslide studies, NGU applies TCN dating to determine ages of rockslide events and the age of sliding surfaces in order to determine past long-term displacement rates Earth is constantly bombarded with cosmic rays that are high-energy charged particles.

In rock and other materials of similar density, most of the cosmic ray flux is absorbed within the first meter of exposed material in reactions that produce new isotopes called cosmogenic nuclides.

Using certain cosmogenic radionuclides, scientists can date how long a particular surface has been exposed, how long a certain piece of material has been buried, or how quickly a location or drainage basin is eroding.Trees undergo spurts in growth in the spring and summer months while becoming somewhat dormant in the fall and winter months.When a tree is cut down, these periods are exhibited in a cross section of the trunk in the form of rings.These particles interact with atoms in atmospheric gases (and thereby producing northern lights) and the surface of Earth.When one of these particles strikes an atom it can dislodge protons and/or neutrons from that atom, producing a different element or a different isotope of the original element.Nuclear chemistry is the study of the chemical and physical properties of elements as influenced by changes in the structure of the atomic nucleus.