A particular strength of speleothems in this regard is their unique ability to be accurately dated over much of the late Quaternary period using the uranium-thorium dating technique.
Weaker flows and short travel distances form more narrow stalagmites, while heavier flow and a greater fall distance tends to form more broad ones. A structure formed in a cave by the deposition of minerals from water. Moreover, the radiation centers must be stable on geologic time, i. In principle, in the more favorable cases, and assuming some simplifying hypotheses, the age of a speleothem could be derived from the total radiation dose cumulated by the sample and the annual dose rate to which it was exposed. Applied Radiation and Isotopes. Many speleothems are named for their resemblance to man-made or natural objects.