Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) is a trace atmospheric gas that is primarily of anthropogenic origin (i.e. man-made; significant production of SF6 began in the 1960’s for use in high voltage electrical switches). However, SF6 also occurs naturally in fluid inclusions in some minerals and igneous rocks, and in some volcanic and igneous fluids.

SF6 holds considerable promise as a dating tool because, unlike the chlorofluorocarbons with steady or declining atmospheric levels, atmospheric SF6 concentrations are expected to continue increasing.

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