Original paper

Reconstructing fluvial landscape evolution using terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide dating: achievements, limitations and applications

Rixhon, Gilles


Over the last three decades, theoretical and technical developments have considerably fostered and intensified the use of terrestrial (or in situ) cosmogenic nuclides as a geochronometer in a variety of environments at the Earth's surface for the Late Cenozoic. These dating methods, including both surface exposure and burial dating, also significantly benefited to fluvial geomorphology. They opened new dating horizons for different kinds of fluvial archives at distinct time scales and thereby provided new insights into previously unanswered questions. This contribution aims at providing a concise (but not exhaustive) overview of these dating applications in a variety of fluvial environments (e.g.river terraces, alluvial fans, in cave-deposited alluvium). Therefore, it briefly presents the fundamental principles of both surface exposure and burial dating, together with a clear statement of the main methodological issues arising from the use of these methods in fluvial contexts. For each dating applications, key information about sampling procedures in the field and representative case studies are also provided.


terrestrial cosmogenic nuclidesbedrockfluvial archives and landformssurface exposure datingburial datingstrath terracein cave-deposited alluviumalluvium-mantled terracealluvial fan