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If you are reading this, you are probably familiar with the two-nuclide diagram commonly used to represent paired Be-10 and Al-26 data: This example is from a review article by Darryl Granger from 2006 (in GSA Special Paper 415) that gives a good description of what the diagram is and how it is supposed to work.Basically, the diagram shows Be-10 concentration on the x-axis and the Al-26/Be-10 ratio on the y-axis, although commonly both quantities are shown in normalized units computed by dividing observed concentrations by the respective production rates at the sample site – this normalization allows plotting data from different sites, with different production rates, on the same axis.
For example coals occur where it is wet, bauxite occurs where it is warm and wet, evaporites and calcretes occur where it is warm and dry, and tillites occur where it is wet and cool.
On the other hand, here is a Ne-21/Be-10 diagram from a very cool paper by Florian Kober and Vasily Alfimov: This figure has a lot of data in it that are beside the point from the perspective of this post, but the point is that it has the opposite axes: Be-10 concentration on the x-axis and Ne-21/Be-10 ratio on the y-axis. I think inverting the diagram so that burial goes up just confuses readers. Thus, I advocate always plotting the longer-lived nuclide of the pair on the x-axis, and the ratio of the shorter-lived to longer-lived nuclide on the y-axis. Of course, I am in the US, but I am not just cheering for my own team here.
Thus, exposure still goes to the right (at least for a while), but burial goes UP. Not what we expect from our previous experience with the Al-26/Be-10 diagram. At present, the choice of axes in two-nuclide diagrams involving Ne-21 in the literature appears to reflect your position in relation to the Atlantic Ocean. It really does make more sense for two-nuclide diagrams to always behave the same way no matter what nuclide pair is involved.
Because these magnetic anomalies form at the mid-ocean ridges, they tend to be long, linear features (hence the name "linear magnetic anomalies") that are symmetrically disposed about the ridges axes.
The past positions of the continents during the last 150 million years can be directly reconstructed by superimposing linear magnetic anomalies of the same age.
The study of paleogeography has two principle goals.
The first goal is to map the past positions of the continents.Wetness, or rainfall, also varies systematically from the equator to the pole.It is wet near the equator, dry in the subtropics, wet in the temperate belts and dry near the poles.The basic concept here is that if your sample stays at the surface and experiences steady exposure with or without erosion, nuclide concentrations are confined to the “simple exposure region” highlighted with dark lines in the above figure.In certain manifestations of this diagram (primarily when plotted with a log x-axis and a linear y-axis), the simple exposure region vaguely resembles a banana, for example: This resemblance, perhaps unfortunately, has resulted in the common use of the term “banana diagram.” Then the important aspect of this diagram is that if the sample gets buried after a period of surface exposure, both Al-26 and Be-10 concentrations decrease due to radioactive decay, and Al-26 decreases faster than Be-10.I’ve done it this way in the version 3 online exposure age calculator, which will generate two-nuclide diagrams for all combinations of Ne-21, Be-10, Al-26, and C-14 in quartz, and also in the ICE-D database which makes use of the v3 calculator as a back end.