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Geochronology involves understanding time in relation to geological events and processes. Geochronological investigations examine rocks, minerals, fossils and sediments. Absolute and relative dating approaches complement each other.  Absolute age determination is performed by radiogenic isotope dating methods such as U-(Th)-Pb, U-series, K-Ar and Ar-Ar methods, as well as Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd and Re-Os dating techniques. Relative age determinations involve paleomagnetism and stable isotope ratio calculations, as well as techniques such as bio- or paleo-stratigraphy.

Isotopic signatures in a wide variety of complex organic compounds reveal unique insights in biological and biogeochemical processes. This is true as chemical, physical and geological processes lead to changes in the natural isotope composition of organic compounds. For instance, the isotopes 13C, 18O, 15N and 2H provide scientists with a wealth of information on topics such as the origin of compounds, pathways of metabolism, synthesis and diagenesis as well as conditions of formation, and more. Such information in key to understanding processes and reactions that govern the composition of the natural environment.



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