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Suitable lithologies for Re-Os geochronology include black shales and organic-rich carbonates.
In addition to geochronology data, the Re-Os geochronometer provides the Os isotope composition (Os = 0.12) derived from cosmic dust and hydrothermal alteration of oceanic crust.
The Re-Os geochronometer can be used to date sedimentary successions lacking suitable horizons for traditional geochronology techniques such as Ar-Ar or U-Pb zircon geochronology.
For example, the boundaries of many Phanerozoic systems, epochs, and stages are marked by the deposition of black shale units, several of which are coincident with mass extinction events.
These are released as radioactive particles (there are many types).
This decay process leads to a more balanced nucleus and when the number of protons and neutrons balance, the atom becomes stable.
As such, the Re-Os geochronometer can be used to directly date some stratigraphic boundaries.