The plot of 210Pb activity against depth in carbonate sands on the Virgin Island Bank is a negative asymmetric hyperbolic curve. As depth increases, an initial rapid decrease in 210Pb activity caused by the decay of unsupported 210Pb and 226Ra is followed by increasing activity as a result of 210Pb achieving equilibrium with in growing 230Th. As this curve is time dependent, an estimate of the relative ages in carbonate sequences and the rates of net carbonate accumulation can be made. The ease of 210Pb activity determinations makes this procedure an attractive method in obtaining carbonate sand accumulation rates.
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210Pb method for estimating the rate of carbonate sand sedimentation