The final ingredient we need is an estimate of the uncertainty in the production ratios of these nuclides.This is hard to estimate in a general way — it depends on the rock or mineral in question and its composition — so for purposes of the following discussion I’ll assume that we know these ratios accurately (however, this is a major issue for some nuclide pairs).

For a particular nuclide pair, relative age uncertainties are large at young ages (this is just a consequence of the radioactive decay equation and the fact that if the age uncertainty is more or less constant in absolute terms, it blows up in relative terms as the age approaches zero), and then become large at old ages again (because at least one of the nuclides decays to concentrations too low to measure accurately).However, most of them are feasible and should be tried.The general concept of cosmogenic-nuclide burial-dating is that one has a pair of cosmogenic nuclides that are produced at a fixed ratio in some rock or mineral target, but have different decay constants.Because it’s pretty rare not to be able to find quartz, the second reason — potentially reduced uncertainty or a wider age range — is really the key reason to think about burial-dating with other nuclide pairs.The uncertainty of a cosmogenic-nuclide burial age is set by a number of factors: measurement precision for the nuclides in question; the actual values of the production ratios and decay constants; how precisely the decay constants of the nuclides in question are known; how precisely the production ratios are known; and geological factors, mainly to do with the burial history of the sample.