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In particular, the impact of current environmental change on the nature of Earth Surface Processes is hardly predictable.

It is a high priority challenge for modern earth sciences to better understand such processes.

The table below gives the half life (the time it takes for half of the atoms to decay) and the detection limit (value for the atom ratio of the radionuclide to stable nuclide measured for a "blank" sample that contains a negligable amount of the radionuclide).

Cosmogenic isotopes are created when elements in the atmosphere or earth are bombarded by high energy particles (-mesons and protons, collectively known as cosmic rays) that penetrate into the atmosphere from outer space.

Researchers suggested that the accumulation of these isotopes within a rock surface could be used to establish how long that surface was exposed to the atmosphere.