EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Applicability and challenges for the authigenic 10Be/9Be dating as revealed by studies from the Pannonian Basin realm

Michal Šujan1, Régis Braucher2, Michal Kováč1, Kishan Aherwar1, Imre Magyar3,4, Zsófia Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger5, Andrej Chyba6, Orsolya Sztanó7, Dániel Botka8,9, Klement Fordinál10, Matúš Tibenský11,12, Peter Joniak1, Samuel Rybár1, Bernhard Salcher13, and the AsterTeam*
Michal Šujan et al.
  • 1Department of Geology and Paleontology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovakia (
  • 2Aix-Marseille Univ., CNRS-IRD-INRAE-Collège de France, UM 34 CEREGE, Technopôle de l'Environnement Arbois-Méditerranée, BP80, 13545 Aix-en-Provence, Franc (
  • 3MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Plc., Október huszonharmadika utca 18, 1117 Budapest, Hungary (
  • 4MTA-MTM-ELTE Research Group for Paleontology, Ludovika tér 2, 1083 Budapest, Hungary (
  • 5Institute for Geological and Geochemical Research, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Budaörsi út 45, 1112 Budapest, Hungary (
  • 6Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, 845 38 Bratislava, Slovakia (
  • 7Department of Geology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/C, 1117 Budapest, Hungary (
  • 8Department of Palaeontology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/C, 1117 Budapest, Hungary (
  • 9Laboratories MOL, MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Plc., Szent István utca 14, 1039 Budapest, Hungary (
  • 10State Geological Institute of Dionýz Štúr, Mlynská dolina 1, 817 04 Bratislava 11, Slovakia (
  • 11Department of Mathematics and Descriptive Geometry, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Slovakia (
  • 12Department of Quantitative Methods, Faculty of Management, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia (
  • 13Department for Geography and Geology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstrasse 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria (
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

Bourlès et al. (1989: Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta) suggested that authigenic 10Be/9Be ratio could provide a geochronological tool to date deposition of clay-bearing sediment settled in a water column up to 14 Ma old. It is based on ratio of atmospheric cosmogenic radionuclide 10Be delivered to depositional environments by precipitation and stable 9Be extracted from rock massifs by chemical weathering. Determination of the initial 10Be/9Be ratio is essential for efficient application of the dating and may vary spatially as well as in time due to changes in drainage basins, depositional environments, climate, and other factors. The potential of the authigenic 10Be/9Be dating was evaluated during last years in the Pannonian Basin realm, located in Central Europe. This contribution summarizes successful applications as well as discovered problems and challenges, which motivate the ongoing research.

Two initial 10Be/9Be ratios were established from Holocene alluvial and lacustrine clays in the Danube Basin (Šujan et al., 2016: Glob. Planet. Change). The dating was applied to shallow to deep-water sediments deposited in Lake Pannon within the Danube Basin, and helped to constrain paleogeographic changes in the age range of 11.6–3 Ma. Application of the method to the post-rift alluvial succession with high subsidence rates of 50–400 m/Ma in the range of ~9.5–6.0 Ma yielded data consistent with other geochronological proxies (Šujan et al., 2020: Sed. Geol.; Joniak et al., 2020: Palaeo3). The fast accumulation and tectonic quiescence likely provided stable environmental conditions favorable for the dating method applicability.

Lacustrine and deltaic deposits of Lake Pannon were analyzed from cores of Paks boreholes in the central part of the Pannonian Basin. The resulting authigenic 10Be/9Be ages are generally in agreement with magnetostratigraphic age constraints correlated using seismic stratigraphy (Magyar et al., 2019: Földt. Közl.). Outliers with relative enrichment of 10Be appear in most distal facies, where low terrestrial 9Be input is expected.

A study of turbidite deposits from the Transylvanian Basin allowed to compare the established lacustrine initial 10Be/9Be with a ratio independently calculated from Ar/Ar dated horizon (Botka et al., 2019: Austrian J. Earth. Sci.). Majority of samples provided a good fit with other age proxies, while one sedimentary interval exhibits twofold increase of 10Be/9Be probably indicating variability in the environmental conditions (Baranyi et al., 2021: Rev. Palaeobot. Palyn.).

An order of magnitude higher authigenic 10Be/9Be comparing to the established initial ratios were obtained from supposed early Pleistocene sediments from the locality Sollenau in the Vienna Basin. The visual appearance implies, that secondary pedogenic processes might be responsible for a post-depositional input of 10Be (Willenbring, von Blanckenburg, 2010: Earth. Sci. Rev.). Another case of high 10Be/9Be preventing age calculation was observed in a Pleistocene alluvial environment with intense loess input.

An ongoing research aims to determine the effects of changes in depositional process, sediment source proximity and provenance on the applicability of the dating method. This research was financially supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under contract APVV-16-0121 and by the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office under contract NKFIH-116618.


Georges Aumaître, Karim Keddadouche, Didier L. Bourlès

How to cite: Šujan, M., Braucher, R., Kováč, M., Aherwar, K., Magyar, I., Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger, Z., Chyba, A., Sztanó, O., Botka, D., Fordinál, K., Tibenský, M., Joniak, P., Rybár, S., and Salcher, B. and the AsterTeam: Applicability and challenges for the authigenic 10Be/9Be dating as revealed by studies from the Pannonian Basin realm, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12406,, 2021.


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