Radiometric dating geology

This is determined by drawing a horizontal line from 0.95 to the decay curve line, and then a vertical line from there to the time axis.

[SE] K-Ar is just one of many isotope-pairs that are useful for dating geological materials.

It has a half-life of 1.3 billion years, meaning that over a period of 1.3 Ga one-half of the Figure 8.14 The decay of 40K over time.

Each half-life is 1.3 billion years, so after 3.9 billion years (three half-lives) 12.5% of the original 40K will remain.

In a way this field, called geochronology, is some of the purest detective work earth scientists do.

There are two basic approaches: relative age dating, and absolute age dating.

Feldspar does not have any argon in it when it forms.

In most cases, we cannot use isotopic techniques to directly date fossils or the sedimentary rocks they are found in, but we can constrain their ages by dating igneous rocks that cut across sedimentary rocks, or volcanic ash layers that lie within sedimentary layers.

Isotopic dating of rocks, or the minerals in them, is based on the fact that we know the decay rates of certain unstable isotopes of elements and that these rates have been constant over geological time.

Pretty obvious that the dike came after the rocks it cuts through, right?

With absolute age dating, you get a real age in actual years.

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