In ultraclean laboratories, analytical uncertainty can be as low as ±10 years (1 sigma), but in most laboratories, it is of the order of ±50 years (1 sigma).
Second, radiocarbon years are not the same as sidereal (calendar) years; thus, radiocarbon ages must be “calibrated” to bring them into a standard time frame.
It is possible, for example, that a dated piece of wood recovered from landslide debris came from a dead tree, rather than from a living one.
Or the wood may have been recycled from older sediments that were eroded by the landslide and incorporated into its deposit.
Thus, the method is used for dating volcanic rocks that contain no argon after the molten lava has cooled, thereby setting the isotopic “clock” to zero.
With the passage of time, K, the production of argon is extremely slow.
Assuming that each radiocarbon age is reliable, the youngest age will be nearest the age of the landslide.The same limitations discussed above apply when dating plant material recovered from lacustrine and flood sediments.).Potassium-argon dating has also been used to date lava flows and volcanic tuff, which in some areas of the world may be juxtaposed with glacial deposits or be stratigraphically related to early hominid fossils.The outer-ring issue can be circumvented by dating twigs, leaves, seeds, and other delicate plant fossils, although such materials commonly are not present in landslide deposits.Some landslides can be dated indirectly, using plant material contained within sediments deposited in an upstream lake impounded behind the debris dam or within outburst flood sediments deposited when the dam is breached by overflow.